Points of Light and the Corporation for National and Community Service Bring Communities Together to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Through Volunteer Service
Volunteer Projects Across the Country Attract Thousands of Volunteers to Help Veterans, Active Duty Military Members and Others in Need
ATLANTA, Jan. 20, 2014 – For the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, today and throughout the holiday weekend, thousands of people transformed Dr. King’s message of unity and community into hands-on volunteer service, with the help of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Points of Light.
At Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., today volunteers – joined by including White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and other notable figures – assembled 500 care packs containing clothing for wounded service members recovering in hospitals overseas. Similar events took place in Philadelphia, Atlanta and across the country.
The activities were made possible by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that leads the MLK Day of Service. CNCS awarded $125,000 to Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – to support volunteer projects at eight nonprofits to feed the hungry, clean up parks and schools, provide financial literacy workshops and more. The nonprofits committed to bringing together 175,000 volunteers.
The volunteer projects complemented hundreds of America’s Sunday Suppers held across the country. Inspired by the legacy of Dr. King – and his desire to bring people with diverse backgrounds together for thoughtful conversation – Sunday Suppers provide opportunities for people to share a meal, talk about critical issues and discuss ways they can volunteer to meet urgent community needs.
Other events included:
PENNSYLVANIA / Global Citizen – Today’s 19th annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service – the country’s largest MLK Day event, coordinated by Global Citizen, brought together 125,000 volunteers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in 1,700 projects, including sorting school supplies and books for donation and making clothes for those in need. Hundreds of projects will continue throughout the year through Global Citizen’s MLK365 program.
NATIONWIDE / Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Yesterday Alpha Kappa Alpha hosted a Sunday Supper in Baltimore for 1,150 volunteers, and 33 chapters across the country hosted their own Sunday Suppers and volunteer projects focused on helping people get their financial footing – through resume workshops, job interview training and more.
FLORIDA / HandsOn Broward – HandsOn Broward and Broward MLK Day of Service Coalition Members mobilized 45 corporate and community partners and thousands of volunteers in hands-on projects in Broward County, Fla. Activities included a Dr. King Legacy Event on Saturday; an America’s Sunday Supper yesterday at a transitional housing development for homeless veterans; and today an MLK Day Service Rally and Resource Fair and service projects aimed at bringing economic opportunities to low-income communities.
MISSOURI / United Way of Greater St. Louis – Tomorrow, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, in collaboration with local partners, will present the findings of a yearlong study outlining the civic health of the St. Louis region and Missouri at a Sunday Supper for 250 guests. Throughout January, the organization – collaborating with more than a dozen nonprofits and businesses – will engage 7,500 volunteers in various projects, including beautifying streets and facilitating financial stability workshops in low-income neighborhoods.
NORTH CAROLINA / The Volunteer Center of Greensboro – With local partners, the North Carolina center is collaborating in a countywide service kickoff during January, bringing together 7,500 volunteers; 125 schools will be participating in a service learning experience centered on the life and work of Dr. King.
GEORGIA / Hands On Atlanta – Hands On Atlanta partnered with The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and Delta Airlines to present the 19th MLK Day of Service today. Service projects focused on alleviating poverty and beautifying civil rights historic sites and neighborhoods, and sites dedicated to civil rights leaders.
FLORIDA / United Way HandsOn Suncoast – With events through the holiday weekend, the organization hosted a Sunday Supper and brought together volunteers to hand out food to military families in need, give socks and hygiene supplies to homeless veterans, teach students about Dr. King, clean local parks and more.
NATIONWIDE / National Alliance of Faith and Justice – In 2000, the National Alliance of Faith and Justice founded Justice Sunday as a national movement to honor Dr. King. Yesterday, Justice Sunday services at churches across the country invited attendees to volunteer, to help military members and their families in particular.
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.
And Points of Light partner Repair the World, a national nonprofit that creates opportunities for Jews to volunteer, adopted the Sunday Supper idea to promote Shabbat Suppers recognizing Dr. King’s legacy on Friday, Jan. 17. In Jewish culture, families and friends come together for Friday Shabbat dinners to pause and reflect.
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 a Sunday Supper.
About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through HandsOn Network affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. Visit our website at www.pointsoflight.org or Facebook or Twitter to learn more.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and the Social Innovation Fund, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. CNCS leads the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and supports grants to mobilize hundreds of thousands of Americans in service on MLK Day. Visit our website at NationalService.gov.
About Repair the World
Repair the World is a national nonprofit empowering Jewish Americans to address pressing issues through volunteering. We connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org. Follow us on Twitter @RepairtheWorld.