(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism are calling on District residents to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy and the Inauguration of President Barack Obama by volunteering in the District Saturday, January 19 through Monday, January 21.
The Mayor encouraged residents to become involved in activities that benefit their community by participating in events associated with the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service not only honors the legacy of this civil-rights hero, but also dovetails with my agenda for the District of Columbia, ” said Mayor Gray. “And, with the inauguration of President Obama coinciding with MLK Day, this year is an especially meaningful opportunity for District residents from all walks of life and our visitors from across the country to join together in the spirit of service and unity that exemplified Dr. King’s dream.”
This year, more than 15,000 volunteers are expected to participate in MLK Day of Service activities at approximately 34 project sites in every ward of the District. Service projects include refurbishing schools and community centers, food and clothing drives, environmental restoration projects and more.
“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service shines a spotlight on the power of service and volunteerism to bridge economic and social divides and transform communities,” said Serve DC Executive Director Jeffrey Richardson. “Whether here in the District or elsewhere across the nation, it is an opportunity to see first-hand how service can make a real difference in people’s lives.”
In addition to service project sites across the city, the District will host two national signature service events on Saturday, January 19:
- Unite America in Service: In partnership with Points of Light and Target, Operation Gratitude, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Community Blueprint, HandsOn Greater DC Cares, Volunteer Fairfax and the George Washington University, Serve DC will convene 10,000 volunteers at the D.C. Armory to pack 100,000 care packages for United States servicemembers, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders. The event runs from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., with volunteer shifts of 2½ hours each. Large groups and volunteers ages 12 to 17 years with parents or legal guardians are welcome to join. Learn more and register at http://bit.ly/uniteamericainservice.
- National Day of Service Fair on the National Mall: Presented by the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee, the National Day of Service Fair will feature service organizations from across the country, including opportunities to get involved right away, and special programming throughout the day. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., with events and programs happening throughout the day at 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Learn more or register at http://bit.ly/natldayofservicefair.
Residents can learn more about District-based service projects and register for volunteer opportunities on the Serve DC website, www.serve.dc.gov. Follow MLK Day-related events and activities on Twitter using the hashtag #MLKDay.
Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. The MLK Day of Service is a part of “United We Serve,” the President's national call-to-service initiative, and Serve DC’s “Seasons of Service Days” portfolio, a diverse set of local, national and international service events designed to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers and create innovative solutions to social challenges.