TALLAHASSEE – During today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott recognized Michael D. Hicks as a Champion of Service for his volunteer service at Charlotte Correctional Institution.

As Volunteer Chaplain at Charlotte Correctional Institution, Michael Hicks has provided approximately 2600 volunteer hours assisting the staff chaplain in creating a chapel library, helping to supervise inmate religious services, and providing informal counseling with inmates.

Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to recognize Volunteer Chaplain Michael Hicks with the Champion of Service Award for his thousands of hours of compassionate volunteer service. I applaud his dedication to making a difference in the lives of the many people he selflessly serves.”

“Volunteer Florida is proud to recognize Volunteer Chaplain Hicks with the Champion of Service Award,” said Chester Spellman, CEO of Volunteer Florida. “Volunteer Chaplain Hicks is changing lives: thanks to his selfless dedication, the inmates and staff at Charlotte Correctional institution have maintained a thriving program of classes, services and responses to crisis situations. Volunteer Chaplain Hicks has had a powerful and positive influence on those who need it most.”

The Florida Department of Corrections relies upon volunteers to provide a variety of programs and activities that are consistent with rehabilitative goals for inmates. Chaplaincy Programs are a critical part in rehabilitating inmates and better preparing them for re-entry into society.

The Department of Corrections benefitted from 17,000 volunteers in 2012-2013. In Chaplaincy Services, volunteers donated 332,005 hours of service, the equivalent time of 159 full time employees.

The Champion of Service Award was established in 2013 by Volunteer Florida to honor individuals and groups for their outstanding efforts in volunteerism and service. Volunteer Florida thanks Tupperware for supporting the Champion of Service Award.

Volunteer Florida is the Governor’s lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida. Volunteer Florida grants funds to educational foundations, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations to administer AmeriCorps and National Service Programs. Volunteer Florida leads Florida’s national days of service, including September 11 and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. During disasters, Volunteer Florida is the lead agency for volunteers and donations. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.

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