January 16, 2017 will mark the 33rd anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.
This milestone is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.
On January 16, we observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (Born on January 15th, 1929). King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement. He successfully protested discrimination in federal and state laws. He also recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals.
In honor of King’s memory, the National Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994.
The goal of the Act honoring King is to make the holiday a day when people of all ages and backgrounds come together to improve lives, bridge social barriers, and move our nation closer to the “Beloved Community” that King envisioned.
In 2016, citizens in all 50 states delivered meals, refurbished schools and community centers, and collected food and clothing. Volunteers also recruited mentors, supported job-seekers, built homes and provided other services for veterans and military families, and helped citizens improve their financial literacy skills.
As the agency charged with leading the MLK Day of Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is proud to highlight the work of their partners in the nonprofit community, at all levels of government, the private sector, and the entire national service family. Americans made it “a day on, not a day off”, making a fantastic impact on the community surrounding them.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
Use this day of service to spur you and your family onto continual days of “service” – and become a part of the vision behind King’s community.