National Day of Service Honors the Life and Legacy of Dr. King

Jan 16, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, in honor of the legacy and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Americans across the country will unite in a national day of service, working together to address some of the nation's toughest problems.

As part of the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, Robert Velasco II, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, joined the First Family, AmeriCorps members, and community volunteers at a community service project at the Browne Education Campus in Northeast Washington in honor of Dr. King's life and legacy.

“Today we're a part of something much larger than ourselves. Right now, Americans from all walks of life are coming together in service at thousands of projects across all 50 states,” said Velasco. “The needs are great, and I commend everyone for doing their part to fulfill Dr. King's dream.”

Service activities included painting the library and computer rooms and arranging and cataloguing donated books. Big Brother Big Sisters of the National Capital Area, YouthBuild, and HandsOn Greater DC Cares were all instrumental in bringing the project together and First Book donated 600 books to school's library.

The Browne Education Campus event is just one of the thousands of projects taking place nationwide, ranging from delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, supporting veterans and military families, promoting nonviolence, and more, with many projects starting on King Day and lasting throughout the year.

In 1994, Congress passed legislation encouraging the King Federal Holiday to be observed as a national day of service, and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this national effort. A key focus of the 2012 MLK Day of Service is advancing economic opportunity.

“In this time of economic challenge for the nation, Dr. King's vision of service and volunteering are more critical than ever,” said Velasco. “Service is a powerful way for citizens, nonprofits, the private sector and government to work together to meet critical needs and advance King's dream of opportunity for all.”

Through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, CNCS and the organizations and volunteers it supports are helping families find permanent housing, providing financial education and job readiness supports, and mentoring students so they can succeed in school and life.

Along with putting individuals and families on the pathway to economic opportunity, national service connects volunteers of all ages with hands-on opportunities to supplement their skills and gain entryway to the workforce.

For more information, and year-round volunteer opportunities are available at

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service:

In 1994, Congress passed legislation encouraging Americans to observe the King Holiday as a national day of service that brings people together from different backgrounds to meet needs in their community. The Corporation for National and Community Service was designated as the lead federal agency to execute the King Day of Service. The King Day of Service provides Americans the opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King through service to meet local and national needs. For more information visit

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Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775

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