Americans to Mark Weekend of Service, Unite to Address Local Challenges

Jan 15, 2013

MLK Day of Service Projects in all 50 states coincide with 57th Presidential Inaugural and National Day of Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands of organizations across the country are preparing to lead Americans in the nation's largest day of service, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, (CNCS) the federal agency that leads MLK Day of Service, said Americans will come together in all 50 states to deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, collect food and clothing, signup mentors, promote nonviolence, support veterans and military families, and much more.

The 2013 commemoration of the King Holiday coincides with the 57th Presidential Inauguration, which will include a National Day of Service, continuing a tradition set four years ago when President-elect Obama and his family joined in the MLK National Day of Service the day before the official swearing in.

“Service is a core American value in both good times and moments of great challenge,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “As we stand on the precipice of a new chapter for America, we will witness citizenship and service in action in communities across our great nation. I am convinced that, as Americans work alongside each other, the spirit of unity will inspire many of them to continue to volunteer throughout the year.”

CNCS is urging Americans to visit to find volunteer opportunities in their community and make MLK Day a “day on, not a day off.”

In 1994, Congress passed legislation encouraging the King Federal Holiday to be observed as a national day of service and charged CNCS with leading this national effort.

Six organizations received MLK Day of Service grants – Campus Compact, Cesar Chavez Foundation, HOPE worldwide, Points of Light, Service for Peace, and Youth Service America. These organizations will lead service activities on the day, supporting hundreds of projects nationwide.

Sample project selections are included below. More information, including details about local service opportunities, is available at

  • In Sacramento, California volunteers with Service for Peace will recruit volunteers to care for young trees, remove invasive species, clean graffiti, and more in a local park.
  • Volunteers in Boston, Massachusetts will engage in service throughout the city at projects organized by Boston Cares in partnership with the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Service Alliance.
  • In Bethesda, Maryland, volunteers will assemble emergency meals for Meals on Wheels and create blankets for the Montgomery Hospice at a volunteer fair organized by Youth Service America.
  • In Minneapolis, Minnesota volunteers with College Possible will support children's activities and building beautification for the organization People Serving People, which serves homeless children and their families and provides new opportunities for healthy, stable family life.
  • In Columbia, Missouri, AmeriCorps VISTA members will join the Missouri River Communities Network along with the Missouri River Bluffs Association, the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, and Centro Latino at a local food drive.
  • More than 300 volunteers in New Jersey will join AmeriCorps members, Jersey Cares, Bergen County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and other local government, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations in Atlantic, Monmouth, and Ocean counties in mucking and gutting homes flooded during Hurricane Sandy.
  • In New York City, AmeriCorps members will lead volunteers in an effort to “muck out” 30-50 homes flooded during Hurricane Sandy in the Rockaways and South Brooklyn.
  • 65 AmeriCorps members hailing from 20 states and serving with Rebuilding Together will repair homes for veteran and senior citizen homeowners in need in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • In Durham, North Carolina more than 1,000 volunteers will participate in a project of Campus Compact, Duke University, Durham Technical Community College, Duke University Chapel, and Duke Community Service Center for a “Million Meals” event, packaging meals to be sent around the world to those in need.
  • In Portland, Oregon, volunteers with Hands On Portland will restore the Mitchell Creek Area with Portland Parks and Recreation.
  • 100,000 volunteers are expected to participate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service including 4,000 at a project sponsored by Girard College.
  • In Austin, Texas, in coordination with the Urban Roots project, the Cesar Chavez Foundation will host a day of service on their farm. Volunteers will prepare the ground for planting and plant onions and leeks. Volunteers will also learn about the food system, hunger in Central Texas, and the work of Dr. King in relation to food.
  • Volunteers with the Utah Food Bank, Youth City, and Catholic Community Services, in collaboration with the Salt Lake City Mayor's Office will make deliveries of donated food items to Salt Lake City, Utah nonprofits.
  • In Seattle, Washington hundreds of volunteers will conduct fire-safety outreach to at-risk neighborhoods as part of a project sponsored by HOPE worldwide.
  • In Washington, D.C., volunteers will assemble 100,000 care kits for deployed U.S. service members, wounded warriors, and veterans. The project is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light, and Target, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, the Community Blueprint,Serve DC, HandsOn Greater DC Cares, Volunteer Fairfax, and The George Washington University.


Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775

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