Points of Light, Corporation for National and Community Service Help Support Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Service Projects in Eight Locations

Projects Will Focus on Helping Disadvantaged, Veterans and Active Duty Military; Largest Event to Involve 115,000 People in Philadelphia Area

ATLANTA, Dec. 18, 2013 – Transforming Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of unity and community into volunteer service, eight nonprofits will bring together volunteers to feed the hungry, clean up parks and schools, provide financial literacy workshops and more, thanks to $125,000 in grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – selected the recipients for their vision to honor the civil rights leader.

During the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 20, 2014, these organizations will bring together 175,000 volunteers in service projects designed to improve the economic well-being and security of economically disadvantaged individuals, focusing on veterans and active duty members of the military and their families.

As in years past, Points of Light will encourage people across the nation to engage in service and to host or attend America’s Sunday Suppers, gatherings designed to bring people together to share a meal, talk about critical issues and discuss ways people can unite as volunteers to meet urgent local needs.

“MLK Day is the perfect opportunity to kick off a new service year by joining your community to offer your time, talent, voice and resources to community service," said Tracy Hoover, president of Points of Light. "By spending time volunteering, we are bringing to life Dr. King's dream for a better America.”

“Dr. King once said, `Life’s persistent and most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’ He understood that each of us has something to contribute to making America a better nation – and that all of us should try,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Together with Points of Light and other great partners, let us honor this great American hero by making our communities stronger through service on MLK Day and throughout the year."    

The eight grantees are:

PENNSYLVANIA / Global Citizen ($30,000) – The 19th annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service on Jan. 20, coordinated by Global Citizen, will bring together more than 115,000 volunteers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in 1,600 projects, including sorting school supplies and books for donation and making clothes for those in need. The event is expected to be the nation’s largest for MLK Day, with hundreds of projects continuing throughout the year through Global Citizen’s MLK365 program.

NATIONWIDE / Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority ($25,000) – On Jan. 20 and 21, Alpha Kappa Alpha will host America’s Sunday Suppers across the nation. In addition, sorority chapters across the country and in the U.S. Virgin Islands will engage 25,000 volunteers in service projects focused on helping people get their financial footing – through resume workshops, job interview training and more. Also, Alpha Kappa Alpha will support the White House’s Joining Forces and Points of Light’s Community Blueprint to help improve the lives of veterans and active duty military members and their families, many of whom have been affected by the struggling economy.

FLORIDA / HandsOn Broward ($15,000) – HandsOn Broward and Broward MLK Day of Service Coalition Members will mobilize 45 corporate and community partners and 7,500 volunteers in hands-on projects in Broward County, Fla. Activities will include a Dr. King Legacy Event on Jan. 18; an America’s Sunday Supper on Jan. 19 at a transitional housing development for homeless veterans; and, on Jan. 20, 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 ($15,000) – On Jan. 21, 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. Through the Service 2 Go program, volunteers can participate in certain projects from home, school or work.

NORTH CAROLINA / The Volunteer Center of Greensboro ($15,000) – 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 ($10,000) – Hands On Atlanta will partner with The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and Delta Airlines to present the 19th MLK Day of Service on Jan. 20, engaging 5,000 volunteers. Service projects will focus on alleviating poverty and beautifying civil rights historic sites and neighborhoods, and sites dedicated to civil rights leaders. As volunteers learn about the life and contributions of Dr. King, they will be encouraged to use their time, talents and skills to further his legacy.

FLORIDA / United Way HandsOn Suncoast ($7,500) – With events on Jan. 18 - 20, the organization will host a Sunday Supper and bring together 3,750 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 ($7,500) – In 2000, the National Alliance of Faith and Justice founded Justice Sunday as a national movement to honor Dr. King. On Jan. 19, Justice Sunday services at churches across the country will invite attendees to volunteer, to help military members and their families in particular. Services will offer attendees on-the-spot or more long-term opportunities to serve. Other alliance efforts, including the mentoring program PEN OR PENCIL, will seek to engage young volunteers. The organization plans to unite at least 3,750 volunteers.

The Corporation for National and Community Service gives grants to help organizations attract volunteers for community projects such as the MLK Day of Service, which Congress created in 1994. The federal agency awarded the $125,000 to Points of Light, which selected the current eight beneficiaries.

Apart from the service projects above, people looking to get involved during the MLK Day of Service can:

  • Visit www.pointsoflight.org, and click volunteer on the home page.
  • Visit Points of Light on Facebook, or follow the official national day of service on Twitter at #MLKDay2014.
  • Download a toolkit and pledge to host a Sunday Supper at www.pointsoflight.org/mlk

For more information about the MLK Day of Service, visit MLKDay.gov or www.pointsoflight.org/mlk.

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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 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.