Points of Light, with support from Southwest Airlines Co. and the Corporation for National and Community Service; and in partnership with nonprofits and hundreds of local volunteer action centers, will mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 16, by mobilizing more than 175,000 volunteers across the country. 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.
“As we celebrate Dr King’s life and legacy, the lessons of the civil rights movement offer a roadmap for citizen-led changemaking,” said Tracy Hoover, CEO of Points of Light. “Serving together on MLK Day, and every day after, is a powerful way to bridge differences, solve problems and recommit ourselves to making real the promises of our great democracy.”
Businesses, community leaders, parents, youth, educators and everyday citizens can connect to meaningful service opportunities through www.pointsoflight.org/mlk-day-of-service, where they will be encouraged to get involved in one of three ways:
- Volunteer in Your Community – By participating in local service projects, volunteers will join the millions of Americans nationwide who will make MLK Day a day on, not a day off. More than 950 volunteer projects have been posted at AllForGood.org, Points of Light’s digital hub for volunteerism and community service.
- Become a Drum Major – Volunteers, leaders, and celebrities alike are lending their voices to MLK Day and the causes they are most passionate about by sharing their stories in the #IAmADrumMajor campaign.
- Host a Sunday Supper – America’s Sunday Suppers bring together people from diverse backgrounds to engage in dialogue around important community issues. Points of Light, in partnership with Southwest Airlines, encourages people to bring friends and neighbors together to share a meal and conversation, and inspire acts of service. Hosts can access a conversation guide to help spark meaningful face-to-face dialogue.
“At Southwest, our purpose is to connect people to what matters in their lives and that commitment extends far beyond the skies,” said Linda Rutherford, vice president and chief communications officer at Southwest Airlines. “Connections are the key to building stronger, more vibrant and more inclusive communities, which is why we are proud to support America’s Sunday Suppers. Sharing a meal and engaging your neighbors in a conversation is a great place to start allowing those connections to flourish.”
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 seven nonprofits that will engage more than 161,000 volunteers across the country. Here are the highlights:
- Global Citizen will organize the 22nd annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service, bringing together more than 140,000 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in some 1,800 projects.
- Hands On Atlanta will host a Sunday Supper and a variety of service projects designed to steward social change and challenge Atlanta communities to embrace diversity, in line with Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.
- HandsOn Broward will host a Sunday Supper and engage volunteers in a weekend-long celebration through a variety of service and community projects, including a 5K walk/run, a peach march, a resource fair, and more.
- HandsOn Superior California will host a Sunday Supper and family movie night, kick off the 36th annual MLK Day “Capitol March for the Dream,” and engage residents in a community day of service.
- New York Cares will coordinate a day of service across two sites to provide education enrichment and recreation for students, socialization for seniors, and the revitalization of public spaces, engaging volunteers to meet pressing community needs.
- United Way of Palm Beach County will host a Sunday Supper Movie Night, with service projects intended to create a sense of community togetherness and provide support to 625 local families struggling with hunger and financial insecurity.
- Volunteer Center of Greensboro will organize two community resource fairs benefitting financially insecure residents in Guilford County. Participants will gain access to career and education resources, free tax and insurance assistance, healthy food, and more.
Scores of other volunteer action centers will activate volunteers in partnership with Points of Light’s programs and divisions during the King Holiday.
In Washington, D.C., Points of Light will partner with the Project Management for Change on the third 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, 240 volunteers will contribute more than 1,200 hours of direct service to more than 60 area nonprofits, making a collective contribution of more than $150,000 worth of business consulting in a single day. In recognition of their efforts, the project managers will be honored with the Daily Point of Light Award on Jan. 16.
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.
ServiceWorks (powered by AmeriCorps, the Citi Foundation and Points of Light) will engage hundreds of young people in various projects geared toward youth development, educational resources and career opportunity. Across the country, all 22 ServiceWorks sites will organize service events, including school renovation and beautification projects, developing STEM education tools for underprivileged kids, addressing childhood obesity and food deserts through community farming, a writing workshop that empowers young inmates, and a variety of projects designed to build community engagement.
Points of Light will also team up with the Corporation for National and Community Service to continue the tradition of the MLK Drum Majors for Service award, which provides organizations the opportunity to recognize outstanding volunteers who have performed extraordinary everyday acts of service and individuals who have met the hourly requirements for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
It’s not too late to participate in MLK Day of Service activities. Visit www.pointsoflight.org/mlk-day-of-service to find a volunteer opportunity or pledge to host a Sunday Supper.
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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 four million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people where it’s needed most. For more information, visit www.pointsoflight.org.
About Southwest Airlines
In its 46th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 53,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and eight additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Subject to requisite governmental approvals, service to Grand Cayman begins June 4, 2017, the same date service is scheduled to begin from Cincinnati. Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
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.
"As we celebrate Dr King's life and legacy, the lessons of the civil rights movement offer a roadmap for citizen-led changemaking,” said Tracy Hoover, CEO of Points of Light. "Serving together on MLK Day, and every day after, is a powerful way to bridge differences, solve problems and recommit ourselves to making real the promises of our great democracy.”