Community Service Urged on MLK Holiday

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The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal organization which oversees the government’s public service efforts, has put out its annual call to citizens nationwide to honor the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by volunteering and taking part in community events planned for January 18.

In 1994, Congress designated the holiday a “day of service,” and the corporation has worked since that time to promote volunteer projects across the nation.

“We can best honor Dr. King by working in our communities around the nation and world to eradicated what he called the ‘triple evils,’ poverty, racism, and militarism,” the Rev. Bernice King, King’s daughter, told JET magazine. “He gave his life for justice for all people, democracy for all people, truth for all people, peace for all people and love for all people.”

“Martin Luther King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and opportunity for all, and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be,” the corporation’s acting CEO, Nicola Goren, said in a press release. “[By] using the holiday as a springboard for service throughout the year, we can renew our communities and our country as we help realize Dr. King’s dream of building the Beloved Community.”

The corporation works with the King Center in Atlanta and six other national grantees to create service projects for the King Day of Service. More than 20 mayors are planning service events in their cities.

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty plans to kick off the capital’s Cities of Service initiative, which will call on residents to serve at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, school beautification projects, and clothing distribution centers.

For more information on how to serve, please visit www.serve.gov/mlkday or www.nationalservice.gov for details.