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Jan. 20

How Did You Celebrate MLK Day?

Enjoying a sunny, spring-like day in Washington, D.C., today, public figures, veterans, students and families gathered at Dunbar High School – the country’s first public high school for black students – to transform Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of unity and community into hands-on volunteer service.

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White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough,
right, helps out on the care pack assembly line.

“Today is a day of service and it’s important to give back,” said Nicole Isaac, a veteran and volunteer who drove in from northern Virginia to help out during the Points of Light Family and Community Fun Day. “We’ve come so far, but there’s still so much more to do to help communities sustain themselves.”

Volunteers – including White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Exelis Action Corps members and George Washington University students – assembled 500 care packs containing shirts, shorts, sandals and pants, for wounded service members recovering in hospitals overseas.

Veterans at the event benefited from resume reviews and a resource fair showcasing agencies that help veterans and military families.

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Exelis Action Corps volunteers help assemble care
packs for wounded service members.

Meanwhile, kids enjoyed balloon animals and face painting. (One of the boys kept looking up at his mom and asking, "Am I still Batman?") They also learned how to pack healthy lunches and participated in a fitness challenge – jumping through hula hoops and walking like a crab.

The activities were made possible by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The federal agency, which leads the MLK Day of Service, awarded $125,000 to Points of Light to support volunteer projects at eight nonprofits across the country to feed the hungry, clean up parks and schools, provide financial literacy workshops and more. The nonprofits committed to bringing together 175,000 volunteers through the long holiday weekend.

In another recognition of the MLK Day of Service, today Points of Light honored Christine Wright and her daughter Melanie Stevenson of Birmingham, Ala., with a Daily Point of Light Award. More than a decade ago, Wright and Stevenson created a family tradition of bringing three generations together every MLK Day to volunteer. Read their story here.

It’s not too late to participate in MLK Day of Service-related activities. Visit MLKDay.gov, where you can learn about a student art contest, or www.pointsoflight.org/mlk, where you can pledge to host an America’s Sunday Supper honoring Dr. King.

Let us know how you celebrated the MLK Day of Service. We’d love to hear from you at listen@pointsoflight.org.

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