MLK Day Empowers Citizens to Strengthen the Nation through Service

Jan 15, 2018

Millions of Americans will mark the day of service with projects in all 50 states

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, January 15, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps and the nation’s volunteering efforts, will lead thousands of organizations around the country to make it “a day on, not a day off” in honor of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service.

Called to serve by President Trump, Americans around the country will unite at thousands of service projects in all 50 states. Together, families, friends, colleagues, elected officials, and congregations will deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, collect food and clothing, recruit mentors, provide services to homeless veterans, rebuild homes for those in hurricane-damaged areas, build libraries, and more.

In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as a federal holiday observed as a national day of service, and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with leading this effort. Participants in the agency’s AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs are leading and joining in projects across the country. CNCS also provides grants to four national organizations that play a leadership role in the MLK Day of Service: the Arc of the United States, Points of Light, Samaritan’s Feet, and Youth Service of America.

Sample projects are highlighted below. More information, including details about local service opportunities for MLK Day or year-round volunteer opportunities, is available at

  • In Columbia, S.C., AmeriCorps members from City Year, Palmetto Conservation Corps, and SBP will join forces with the Boy Scouts of America Indian Water Council to provide services to a local camp, building lean-tos, and maintaining trails.
  • Senior Corps volunteers serving through Community Action Council in Lexington, Ky., will pack bags for local veterans, homeless individuals, and foster care children.
  • AmeriCorps members in Knoxville, Tenn., will lead community volunteers in efforts to clean-up and restore Odd Fellows Cemetery, a historic African-American Cemetery.
  • In Washington, D.C., Deborah Cox Roush, the director of Senior Corps, will serve alongside volunteers with Samaritan’s Feet, washing feet of vulnerable children and adults and sizing feet for properly fitting shoes at Liberty Baptist Church. 
  • In Baton Rouge, The Walls Project will lead volunteers to paint blighted buildings, plant community gardens and trees, paint house addresses on curbs for first responder identification, repair fences, and haul away trash from properties.
  • Rebuilding Together AmeriCorps members will be joined by Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps, to complete home repairs for families in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood.
  • Senior Corps RSVP and AmeriCorps VISTA members serving with L.A. Works will build benches and planters and create an outdoor classroom at Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Volunteers from Texas One Star Foundation, All Hands & Hearts Houston, United Way of Brazoria County, Texas Baptist Men, NECHAMA, and AmeriCorps NCCC will muck and gut homes of families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
  • AmeriCorps members serving with City Year Philadelphia will lead 1,000 volunteers in painting murals aimed to inspire students and generations to come in the Frankford neighborhood of North Philadelphia.
  • Arizona Conservation Corps will engage more than 200 community volunteers, including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members, in service projects across the City of Tucson, which include organizing libraries, planting gardens, painting murals and schools, and cleaning outdoor spaces.
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