A Carbondale woman is among the six Illinoisans and one business to receive Governor's Volunteer Service Awards for service in southern Illinois.
Marleen Shepherd with the Sparrow Coalition is among those being recognized today, April 18 during a special reception at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.
The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service. It is part of National Volunteer Week festivities and also a signature event of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.
Shepherd founded the Sparrow Coalition, a community partnership addressing issues of homelessness and poverty in southern Illinois. Shepherd received her master of divinity degree from Phillips Theological Seminary, and is working toward becoming a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is currently completing a chaplaincy internship at St. Louis University Hospital.
Shepherd earned her bachelor degree at SIU, where she was editor of the Daily Egyptian. She previously worked for the SIU Alumni Association as part of its communications team.
She has served on the boards of many area charitable organizations including the Carbondale Interfaith Council, where she held the office of president. She is a lifelong member of First Christian Church Carbondale, where she has been involved in outreach, education and mission.
The commission received more than 130 nominations in six categories (adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps and youth) from the commission's five service regions across the state (east central, northeast, northwest, southern and west central). Commissioners reviewed the applications and selected 30 award winners.
More information is available at Serve.Illinois.gov.