Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service 2010 Volunteers help with Haiti relief Mayors, top officials and more than 100,000 volunteers to lead 1,500 Service Projects and 150+ Town Hall Meetings
ATLANTA (Jan. 14) - Millions of Americans have the day off on Monday, January 18 and will spend the time volunteering in local communities throughout the country in active tribute to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the first King Holiday that President Obama will celebrate in office, and he will continue to amplify and extend the call to service and mobilize millions of new citizens in tackling the issues of our day. This Holiday, and the beginning of the year and a new decade, offers an opportunity for the nation to join together under the banner of Dr. King's quest for Americans to create stronger bonds to each other and their communities through service.
Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network, the nation's largest volunteer organization, are leading this call to service by hosting hundreds of thousands of engaged citizens in service projects and an MLK Day Virtual Town Hall on January 18, 2010. The call, "A Day On, Not A Day Off. Remember. Celebrate. Act" will be simulcast in seven major markets across the U.S. (Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York, Phoenix, Sacramento and St. Louis). An exciting announcement - to be disclosed Monday - will be revealed during our Chicago simulcast.
Other key leaders that will be participating in the MLK Day Virtual Town Hall and service projects across the country include Congressman John Lewis, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Birmingham acting Mayor Roderick Royal, CaliforniaVolunteers Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service Nicola Goren, York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser.
During the MLK Day Virtual Town Hall on Monday, January 18, HandsOn Network will weave together service and dialogue and capture some of the energy of its network of 250 affiliates and 70,000 nonprofit partners. HandsOn Network will engage more than 100,000 volunteers in 1,500 projects to solve critical problems in education, the environment and the economy through HandsOn Network's Get HandsOn campaign across the nation. Get HandsOn! is a three year campaign to recruit and mobilize a corps of 500,000 volunteer leaders and engage people of all generations in two million impact-driven projects.
"As we focus our attention on the power of people to make positive change, we can't help but think of the needs of the people in Haiti," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute and Co-founder of HandsOn Network. "Many of the hundreds of thousands of people who will volunteer on Monday will add to their engagement by making contributions to the relief efforts in Haiti. We are all witnessing the strength of human spirit and our potential to bridge differences and create community."
Nunn added that it could not be a more important time to inspire people to deliberate around the meaning of Dr. King's legacy and message in the context of our current national and global challenges. "The Virtual Town Hall will be an opportunity for ordinary citizens across the nation to participate in a conversation about real change, bringing us a step closer to achieving Dr. King's vision. With technology, we have the opportunity to extend Dr. King's beloved community in new and fascinating ways - integrating action with dialogue," said Nunn.
President and Mrs. Obama have called the nation to make service central to our national priorities, and the Get HandsOn campaign will create a platform for service as a solution to critical community problems and connect with Dr. King's call for ecological stewardship, equality of opportunity and economic justices. We will invite Americans into action and reflection on how they can help build upon the legacy of Dr. King to create change in their communities.
Citizens from across the nation will be able to have live chats, post pictures and videos and share their experiences about how the volunteer movement has impacted them and their communities. In addition, community and civic leaders will participate in virtual town hall meetings and hundreds of deliberative dialogues discussing Dr. King's legacy, the call to service, America's next generation of service leaders and activities happening throughout the country.
These dialogues and activities will be aired on the HandsOn Network MLK Day Virtual Town Hall site, found on www.handsonnetwork.org . A sampling of these local events includes:
- HandsOn Atlanta. Congressman John Lewis and Douglas Shipman, executive director of the Center for Civil & Human Rights Partnership, will engage in a dialogue moderated by WSB TV 2's Jovita Moore for an audience of more than 600 Atlanta residents. Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Director of External Affairs & Community Relations, will also address the audience before participants will disperse to 30 local organizations to engage in service projects managed by Hands On Atlanta.
- New York (Youth HandsOn) will orchestrate a day of high-impact service, reflective dialogues and artistic performances at a local school. York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein will join Youth HandsOn Network to engage hundreds of New York families in service together at multiple public schools to honor Dr. King.
- HandsOn Greater Phoenix will have Mayor Phil Gordon on hand to address and engage with 200 college students and AmeriCorps members in restoring the largest urban park in the country to its natural beauty. HandsOn Greater Phoenix will activate 50 volunteer leaders to coordinate projects throughout the city for 500 volunteers for MLK Day 2010.
- Greater DC Cares will lead more than 150 volunteers to revitalize a local elementary school with new paint and college logo murals. Volunteers will be joined by Councilmember Muriel Bowser and a group of committed FedEx employees as they transform the school, organize the school library and renovate the cafeteria. Greater DC Cares will engage a total of 3,000 volunteers in service across the city for MLK Day.
- United Way of Greater St. Louis will engage more than 1,500 volunteers across the city to complete reflective conversations and 20 meaningful service projects, such as giving a makeover to a church in a low-income community.
- Hands On Sacramento will partner with Mayor Kevin Johnson to further his goals of ending homelessness and increasing volunteerism in the city by coordinating a day of service at a housing facility. Hands On Sacramento will mobilize a total of 2,000 volunteers in 20 diverse projects for MLK Day 2010.
Viewers and participants from across the nation can join the MLK Day Virtual Town Hall beginning at 8 a.m. EST on Monday, January 18 by logging on to www.handsonnetwork.org/events/mlk2010/join. Viewers will be able to engage in the dialogue through social media, storytelling and video uploads to the website (via Twitter, users can comment using hashtag #MLK2010).
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service marks the beginning of a year of service and a drive to create new innovations to combat tough national challenges. These events and dialogues are created through public private partnerships and are supported by: Delta Air Lines, FedEx, American Express, Kraft Foods and Eli Lilly and Company.
"Delta's Force for Global Good is a service leader in communities around the globe," said Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Director of External Affairs & Community Relations. "Our employees, customers and community partners work together to promote positive local and global change. We are honored to support the great work of Dr. King by activating citizens to improve standards of living and create better quality of life for our neighbors across the country.
There are multiple ways people can serve, celebrate and engage in the various projects across the U.S. To find out more information and how you can be a volunteer please visit www.HandsOnNetwork.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @HandsOnNetwork.
About Points of Light Institute
Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help people act upon their power to make a difference. Points of Light Institute operates three dynamic business units that share our mission: HandsOn Network, MissionFish and the Civic Incubator. For more information, visit PointsofLight.org.
About HandsOn Network
HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers that reach more than 83% of the nation's population and extend to ten countries. HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating scaled impact. In 2008, the network delivered approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $615 million. For more information, visit handsonnetwork.org.
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 each year through its core programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information about the Corporation, visit NationalService.gov.