To commemorate Gov. Jack Markell's second term in office, next month Delaware residents are being urged to engage in community service and volunteer for one full week. 

This may not come as a surprise since Markell hosted a weekend of community service in place of the January 2009 inaugural ball. That's because the state was facing a $800 million budget deficit at the time and rather than spend money on an inaugural party, Markell, an advocate of volunteering, thought community service was a good fit.  However, there will be a 2013 inaugural ball.

Meanwhile as the governor prepares for another four-year term, Markell and first lady Carla Markell are calling on Delawareans to participate in volunteer projects starting on January 11th. 

"The best way to say thank you to the people of Delaware for the privilege of being their Governor for a second term is to give back to our communities and neighbors, and to urge others to do the same." Gov. Markell said. "Carla and I believe strongly in the power of people to make a difference. To us, it doesn't matter how much time or money you give. What matters is taking the step to make this a better Delaware for everyone."

Since the Governor's Week of Service expands on the weekend of service, it will take place Jan. 11-21. Some of the events include a clean-up of the Laurel Boys and Girls Club, a statewide food drive at all Delaware State Service Centers, a week-long Martin Luther King Jr. Day Blood Drive with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, and more.

"Every person can make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities," Carla Markell said. "It is our hope that each citizen who volunteers that week will carry on volunteering not just for a week, but for a lifetime. We're so pleased that several Delaware organizations are joining the effort to engage our citizens in volunteer service during the Governor's Week of Service, including the State Office of Volunteerism, the Governor's Commission for Community and Volunteer Service, the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the United Way of Delaware and others. All of these efforts contribute to the powerful momentum we are building in Delaware."

In the meantime, people can visit the Volunteer Delaware website, www.volunteerdelaware.org and choose a project ranging from either one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunities. Organizations can even advertise their need for volunteers online. 

The Governor's Week of Service is in addition to the annual Delaware Week of Service, scheduled for April 21-27, 2013.