Justice and Peace Issues
Martin Luther King Day 2020
Monday isn’t only Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s also a national day of service. While many schools and businesses are closed on the federal holiday, the agency charged with leading the day of service — the Corporation for National & Community Service calls — refers to it as “A Day On, Not a Day Off.” Congress designated the federal holiday as a national day of service in 1994. It’s the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service.
Americans began commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 1986. That’s when it decided to set aside the third Monday of January for the occasion. Even though the date for MLK Day changes every year, King’s birthday was actually on Jan. 15.
Why do we do service on MLK Day?
It was meant as a way to honor the slain civil rights leader’s legacy. MLK Day is only one of two national days of service. September 11th is recognized as a national day of service and remembrance.
What do people do on a national day of service?
The day is part of President Obama’s national call to serve initiative,United We Serve, which is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The initiative was launched by first lady Michelle Obama in 2009 as a collaborative way to meet community needs.
People around the country will take part in community service projects or otherwise volunteer their time. Events and volunteer opportunities can be centered around education, veterans and the military or senior citizens.
Why should I volunteer and how do I get involved?
Getting out into the community helps enrich us all. It gives you a sense of accomplishment as you get to know your neighbors who may need a helping hand.If you’re interested in taking part in a volunteer opportunity, you can find events near you by clicking on this link.