Every year, the government offers Americans a unique way to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and encourages citizens to make it a “day on and not a day off,” as a national day of service, according to White House Domestic Policy Council Director, Melody Barnes.
The President and First Lady, the Vice President and Dr. Biden, Cabinet Secretaries, and senior Administration officials will participate in memorial events and community service projects in the Washington, D.C. area, Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere on Monday, January 17th in honor of the King legacy.
The government has launched MLKDay.gov, a website that shares the different efforts and projects available to volunteer at this coming Monday. It includes an electronic online database, which allows users to simply plug in their zipcode and then be given a listing of various volunteer opportunities in their area. Further, if there are any community groups, organizations or other entities that have projects they’d like to enter in the database, the system allows them to submit their volunteer opportunities.
Last year, an estimated 5.7 million African Americans participated in the MLK Day volunteer effort, joining the almost 64 million Americans that have volunteered nationwide.
“Part of honoring Dr. King’s legacy is to continue service, in big and small ways,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
To mark the 25th anniversary of the King holiday, and to encourage ongoing service throughout the year, CNCS will be launching the MLK 25 Challenge next week. It’s a call to all Americans to honor Dr. King by pledging to take at least 25 actions during 2011 to make a difference for others and strengthen our communities.
“Whether it’s one day a week, once a month, or whenever, find something you care about and get engaged,” Covington said.
After the MLK holiday, Americans can visit Serve.gov to look for ongoing opportunities.