By Jueseppi B.
Join President Obama in a National Day of Service
This year, MLK Day commemorations will coincide with the Presidential Inauguration, so the President is asking all citizens to join him in participating in a National Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 19. Additionally, the Committee is encouraging people to pledge a commitment to serve after MLK Day throughout 2013.
On January 21, 2013, our nation will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day), a national holiday during which we honor the legacy of the civil rights leader Dr. King through a day of service and volunteering.
This year, MLK Day commemorations will coincide with the Presidential Inauguration, so the President is asking all citizens to join him in participating in a National Day of Service on Saturday, January 19. Earlier today, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced that it will host a wide range of volunteering events in Washington, DC and around the country. Additionally, the Committee is encouraging people to pledge a commitment to serve after MLK Day throughout 2013.
President Obama has been deeply committed to engaging more Americans in service since taking office four years ago. He expanded AmeriCorps through measures such as signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009 and creating the FEMA Corps program last year. He launched the Serve.gov platform to make it easier for Americans to find and post local volunteer opportunities.
Today, Americans are volunteering in increasing numbers and interest in national service and civic participation continues to grow. Building on this momentum, we encourage all Americans to serve on MLK Day and long after the Inauguration. As President Obama has said, “America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together.”
The King Legacy of Service
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the course of history and inspired us to build what he called “the beloved community.” The King Legacy of Service 25th Anniversary video tells the story of how Dr. King’s birthday evolved into a national day of service.
The focus on service every MLK holiday is an annual reminder of the unfulfilled needs in our communities and the opportunities we have to meet them. Americans continued to show their generosity in the responses to natural disasters in 2012, but problems that require solutions fueled by “people power” go beyond headline-grabbing events.
Stubborn issues persist from Dr. King’s era — increasing economic opportunity, improving the education system, and caring for our environment continue to be concerns alongside the needs of those affected by natural or man made disasters that seem to arrive with increasing frequency.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) leads the federal effort to increase service across our nation. Our AmeriCorps members, Senior Corps volunteers, and Social Innovation Fund grantees are making a difference every day, whether it’s helping a child learn to read, making sure a forgotten senior citizen has someone looking out for them, or helping Hurricane Sandy victims with recovery and cleanup as they try to rebuild their lives.
As proud as we are of our CNCS participants, we are just as proud of how Americans step up to make their communities better. Volunteering is in our nation’s DNA, and there are many tools to connect with local service opportunities through search engines like the one we have on Serve.gov or by pledging to serve through programs like Operation Honor Cards, which collects commitments to support our veterans and military families.
Around the Dr. King holiday we often hear the quote, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” We’ve seen this demonstrated time and time again through the efforts of ordinary Americans who accept the challenge to make service a part of their lives.
Isn’t it cool that greatness is within everyone’s reach?
To learn more about the MLK Day of Service and find local opportunities to serve, visit our MLK Day portal. You can make pledges to serve veterans and military families by visiting the Joining Forces site. And visit the Presidential Inaugural Committee website to commit to serve on the National Day of Service and search Serve.gov to find ways to volunteer all year long.
President Barack Obama announced today there will be a national day of service on Jan. 19 – one day before he takes the oath, the AP reports.
“This year’s inaugural will reflect our belief that working together, we can keep moving our country forward and fulfill the promise of the American dream for all families,’’ Obama said in a statement from his Presidential Inaugural Committee, according to the New York Times.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee includes former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as actress Eva Longoria serving as committee co-chair, the AP reports.
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