Points of Light, with support from KPMG Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service, will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15 by engaging more than 90,000 individuals in acts of service through 1,575 service projects and civic dialogue events in more than 50 communities in partnership with local Points of Light affiliates and nonprofits across the country. MLK Day marks the beginning of the service year as hundreds of thousands of individuals will honor the memory of Dr. King by contributing their time, talent and voice to improve their communities.
Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” His message and his work left a mark on many aspects of our society and resonate today just as much as they did 50 years ago.
Calling together its community of changemakers, Points of Light encourages people to reflect on gains won during the Civil Rights Movement and to address contemporary issues facing our nation through volunteer service.
“Each year, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life on his birthday through a national day of service. This year, we are also marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination and, in doing so, we are calling on everyone to ignite their passion to serve our communities and redouble our efforts to make his dream of a better world a reality,” said Natalye Paquin, CEO of Points of Light.
Businesses, community leaders, parents, youth, educators and everyday citizens can connect to meaningful service opportunities through MLK Jr. Day of Service, where they will be encouraged to get involved in one of two ways:
- Volunteer in Your Community – Individuals can search for local service projects, joining the hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide who will make MLK Day a day on, not a day off.
- Host a Sunday Supper – Inspired by Dr. King’s vision that people of diverse backgrounds would come together to discuss injustices of the day and create a plan for action, Sunday Suppers call people to engage in dialogue about issues affecting their communities. Individuals who pledge to host a Sunday Supper will be sent Points of Light’s exclusive facilitation guide.
Rob Arning, KPMG vice chair of market development who also chairs the KPMG Foundation, said “one of KPMG’s core values is giving back to the communities in which we live and work so it’s fitting that KPMG volunteers are taking action to honor Dr. King as part of this national day of service. As head of the KPMG Foundation, it’s also gratifying to see how Foundation support is enabling our firm’s volunteering spirit and continued commitment to inclusion and diversity to make a real impact on these communities. We congratulate all of the volunteers, the Points of Light, and our fellow sponsor, the Corporation for National and Community Service.”
Volunteers Unite Across the Country
With a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light is supporting MLK Day volunteer activities run by eight nonprofits that will engage more than 70,000 volunteers across the country. Highlights include:
- Hands On Atlanta is organizing “50 Acts of Service”, convening 1,500 volunteers at 50 projects throughout metro Atlanta, beginning on MLK Day and running through April.
- Chicago Cares is hosting 11 projects in January to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The projects will be held at community partner sites and clustered mostly on Chicago’s south side, including the neighborhood where Dr. King lived in 1966.
- Global Citizen is bringing together more than 5,000 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in 150 projects. The 23rd annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service focuses on the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign.
- Hands On Birmingham is hosting a civic dialogue in downtown Birmingham with more than 500 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lawson State and Miles College students. Additionally, the nonprofit is mobilizing volunteers to organize neighborhood clean-ups and passing out financial literacy documents to low-income neighborhood residents.
- Lake County Cares will host more than 500 volunteers in a variety of projects benefiting several area nonprofit organizations, including making English/Spanish flashcards for students in underserved schools, assembling personal care kits for low-income individuals in shelters, and making fleece scarves for military veterans.
- Leadership Memphis is mobilizing volunteers to coordinate 50 FAFSA and financial literacy sessions for high school seniors.
- OneOC is organizing a series of volunteer projects during MLK Day weekend, including a signature project at the Orange County Food Bank warehouse where volunteers will assemble and pack food boxes to be delivered to families and seniors in need throughout the community.
- Volunteer Center of Greensboro is organizing a clean-up on Saturday, Jan 15, as well as partnering with the Center for Creative Leadership on a large service project involving 200 youth in its Golden Leaf Scholars program. Additionally, the nonprofit is hosting two community resource fairs benefiting financially insecure residents in Guilford County. Participants will gain access to career and education resources, free tax and insurance assistance, healthy food and more.
- Volunteer Fairfax is honoring the MLK Day of Service though its Give Together: A Family Day of Service program, designed to gather families with elementary school-aged children to work on five service projects that support local charitable efforts. Give Together provides parents the opportunity to teach the values of volunteering and giving back to the community.
Scores of other nonprofits and community organizations will activate volunteers in partnership with Points of Light during the King Holiday.
- In Washington, D.C., Points of Light will partner with the Project Management for Change on the fourth annual DC Regional Project Management Day of Service. During this marathon-style service event, project managers will provide pro bono speed consulting to nonprofit leaders, with the end result being a well-defined scope of work and project plan that nonprofits can then use to address specific challenges. Through the event, more than 200 volunteers will contribute more than 1,200 hours of direct service to more than 40 area nonprofits, making a collective contribution of more than $150,000 worth of business consulting in a single day.
- generationOn, Points of Light’s youth division, created fact sheets to help youth understand more about key historical figures in the social justice movement and youth participation in social movements, as well as a family project guide, and four project guides for kids and teens. Additionally, generationOn created a lesson plan for youth development professionals and educators to help them incorporate civil movements and social justice into lessons. All materials are available online at generationOn.org.
To learn more, find volunteer opportunities and pledge to host a Sunday Supper, please visit www.pointsoflight.org/mlk-jr-day-of-service.
About MLK Day
Legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This federal holiday was first observed in 1986. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush, accompanied by Dr. King’s widow Mrs. Coretta Scott King, signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission Extension Act. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.
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 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. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
About KPMG LLP
KPMG is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s largest and most prestigious organizations.
KPMG is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Our people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity, and eradicating childhood illiteracy.
KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.
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.
“Each year, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life on his birthday through a national day of service. This year, we are also marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination and, in doing so, we are calling on everyone to ignite their passion to serve our communities and redouble our efforts to make his dream of a better world a reality,” said Natalye Paquin, CEO of Points of Light.