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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Martin Luther King - March on WashingtonToday, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. This year, we especially encourage you to go out and serve your community on MLK Day – yes, even though you have the day off.

When is MLK Day of Service?

The MLK Day of Service falls on the third Monday of January each year.

What is MLK Day of Service?

A federal holiday created to mark the birthday – Jan. 15 – of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK Day was first observed in 1986. As a federal holiday, MLK Day once felt more like a much needed three-day weekend than a day of observance, honor and remembrance.  To maintain the purpose behind celebrating the life of Dr. King, MLK Day became the MLK Day of Service in 1994 – a day to honor Dr. King’s ideas and visions through community service. MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday that we observe as a national day of service – a day off from school and work but not a “day off.”

Why is MLK Day a “day of service?”

The MLK Day of Service not only honors and celebrates the man himself, but his values of justice, equality, compassion, nonviolence and service; his vision of interracial cooperation in a society that recognizes racial equality; and his belief that everyone of all races, ages and backgrounds can work together to build and strengthen their community through service. Observing MLK Day as a day of service puts Dr. King’s values, vision and beliefs into action as we help solve national or local social problems and strengthen our communities through service.

How can I serve my community on MLK Day?

There are an endless number of ways to serve your community this MLK Day. Build a house for a family in need of a home, feed the hungry, tutor struggling students or get to know your neighbors by asking them to help you clean up the local park.  Don’t know where to start? Find a volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood or city at the Find a Project box on the Corporation for National & Community Service’s MLK Day of Service website.

sources: mlkday.gov, thekingcenter.org
picture: wikipedia
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