MLK Holiday: A ‘Day On, Not a Day Off’

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only holiday declared as a national day of service. Here's how to find local volunteer opportunities.

When President Obama is sworn in for his second term on Monday, the nation will also be honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement he led before his voice was silenced by an assassin’s bullet in 1968.

A federal holiday since 1983, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was later designated as a national day of service, the only holiday with that distinction. Just as King dedicated his life to serving communities struggling to overcome injustices, the holiday bearing his name is intended to be “a day on, not a day off.”    

Projects big and small will be underway Monday all over the United States, with volunteers spending the day cleaning public parks, collecting clothes and food for needy families, visiting senior centers and other opportunities to give back to the community.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency that has coordinated MLK Day projects since Congress declared it a national day of service in 1994. President Obama’s United We Serve community-service initiative has joined the agency in promoting the first holiday of the year as a day to give back.

To find volunteer opportunities in specific neighborhoods and more about the national day of service, visit mlkday.gov.

Libi Uremovic January 20, 2013 at 06:49 PM
'...The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency...' the budget for this agency is $1 billion/yr....the citizenry pays $1 billion/yr to work themselves for free... i don't know how this got attached to martin luther king....even slaves didn't have to pay for the expenses themselves...
Joe Theragman January 22, 2013 at 06:46 PM
I read on John Birch Society website www.jbs.org that the reason the US Federal Government sealed the FBI investigation Records they had been accumulating on MLK, was that they found MLK was a Womanizer, and had some on his staff that were card carrying Communists. There must have been volumns of other things, that we may never know. I have heard that there are already plans being made in the Federal Government to Keep the MLK records sealed for another Fifty years when the first one expires. There were already popular support after the Poor mans death to make a national holliday for him. If the FBI investigation records had gone public, then the outcry of the American People would have been so great, that they never would have been able to push through a National Holliday for MLK. If the sealed records show all of the above and much more, would you really want to stand at a Parade and wave the American Flag to someone who was a Womanizer and who was in Tight with The Communists?
Libi Uremovic January 23, 2013 at 01:21 PM
yea, and in 1954 sex and commies were a projected as the 'boggiemen'....and they got away with it because people didn't have the education and information available to understand right from wrong....lies from truth... but this is the 21st century ...so there's no excuse for stupid..... yes, adults have sex...our federal tax dollars was tracking someone's sex life...that's something that you're 'proud of' as an american...? and the 'commies'...well they own us now....every day we have to beg money from the commies because people like you and your friends stick your hands out for government subsidies... our country has handed 'the commies' our computers and electronics industry.....you keep fixating on adults' personal lives because that's really important, right...


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