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MLK Day of Service Unites Americans to Address Local Challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, January 16, thousands of organizations across the country, along with the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and the nation’s volunteering efforts, will lead Americans in the nation’s largest day of civic engagement, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service.

With an emphasis on creating opportunity for all, Americans of all ages and backgrounds in all 50 states will re-commit themselves as citizens by volunteering in service to one another. Projects include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, and building homes. Volunteers will also recruit mentors, provide services for veterans and military families, and help citizens improve their financial literacy skills.

“Dr. King’s life is a shining example that one person can make a difference and change the course of history,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). “By volunteering in communities across the nation on the MLK Day of Service, we honor his legacy through the spirit of service. I am honored to serve alongside the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are turning their passion into action and giving back, and I am convinced that the day will inspire many to make volunteering part of their lives all year long.”

In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as the first and only federal holiday observed as a national day of service, and charged CNCS with leading this effort. Participants in the agency’s AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs are leading and joining in projects across the country. Americans may visit MLKDay.gov to find a service project for MLK Day or a year-round volunteer opportunity in their own community.

CNCS provides grants to six national organizations that play a leadership role in the MLK Day of Service: the Arc of the United States, Iowa Campus Compact, Points of Light, Service for Peace, Tennessee State University, and Youth Service of America. In addition to these grantees, more than 50 other organizations are strategic partners, including AARP, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Lutheran Services in America, United Way of America, and YouthBuild USA.

Sample projects are highlighted below. More information, including details about local service opportunities, is available at MLKday.gov.

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