Nation’s Capital Prepares for the Largest King Day of Service Ever

Jan 17, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama has called on American citizens to participate in volunteer service on the Martin Luther King National Day of Service on Monday, and thousands of Washington, D. C., residents are responding to that request. About 15,000 volunteers are expected to converge on RFK Stadium to assemble 75,000 care packages for troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s just one of dozens of projects taking place on the annual day of service, which is expected to be the largest event since it was established by Congress in 1994. Across the country, more than 11,400 projects, ranging from food collections to refurbishing schools to training tutors, have been organized, with millions of people expected to answer the call to service.

At RFK, doors will open at 10 a.m. Volunteers will gather in a large heated tent to fill care packages with items provided by Target, the event sponsor.

“Washington, DC is not only the seat of government but it’s also a place where people aspire to serve their country,” Mary Adrian Fenty said in a statement. “It is an honor and a privilege to bring together volunteers from across the nation to serve our troops while commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In making these care packages, we celebrate the spirit of public service, and remind those who have sacrificed the most that they are in our thoughts and in our hearts.”

Other projects scheduled include:

  • A breakfast sponsored by ServiceNation at Ballou High School, 3401 4th St., SE, at 8 a.m., followed by a service project at Simon Elementary School, 401 Mississippi Ave., SE, from 9 to 11 a.m. Contact: Amy Weiss, 202/203-0448 or Debra Reed, 202/528-4214.
  • AmeriCorps members and community volunteers will take part in a day of service sponsored by City Year Washington and Greater DC Cares at Emery Elementary School, 1720 1st St., NE, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact: Jason Holton, 202/203-0393.
  • A clean-up on Kingman Island sponsored by the Student Conservation Corps, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: Becca Brown, 703/524-2441.
  • A meal for homeless people sponsored by We Feed Our People, at the Martin Luther King Library, 901 G St., NW, from 1 to 3 p.m. Contact: Herman Fortson, 240/398-8010.
  • A house-building project sponsored by DC Habitat for Humanity, 55th and Clay Sts., NE, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact: Logan Sheehan, 419/345-1127.
  • A program for homeless people sponsored by DC Jewish Community Center at Shaw Junior High School, 925 Rhode Island Ave., NW, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact: Erica Steen, 703/785-6761.

For more information on service projects in the Washington area, visit,, or

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 491-8250

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