Friday, January 12, 2007

Jan. 15 King Day of Service Celebrates Birthday and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the very embodiment of community, equality and idealism. He expressed the highest dreams of humanity and showed us all by example what we can create when we set aside our differences and work together.

Each year since 1994, when President Bill Clinton signed into law the King Holiday and Service Act, Americans have marked this observance by devoting the day to service projects in their communities. Together, President Clinton and Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate Dr. King's legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action, and reflecting on his life and teachings.

The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers that have divided us in the past, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships, and is an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for ongoing service projects.

Participation in the King Day of Service has grown steadily during the past 12 years -- from a local project to a nationwide movement that perpetuates the life and teachings of one of America's greatest heroes. By renovating schools, cleaning up neighborhoods, tutoring and mentoring children, painting schools and senior centers, donating blood, delivering meals, building homes, organizing food drives, or reaching out in some other way to those in need, hundreds of thousands of citizens have worked together each year to make this a day on, not a day off, and made their own contributions to Dr. King's legacy of service.

How Your Company or Organization Can Help
Opportunities abound for businesses and organizations of all sizes and interests to contribute to their communities. By doing so, you will help strengthen local communities; bridge social and cultural differences; and demonstrate the compassion and commitment to make a difference and honor Dr. King's memory.

The Corporation for National & Community Service suggests the following ways to get inolved:
* Sponsor and organize a single service project
* Sponsor and organize a variety of service projects
* Form teams to vounteer
* Encourage friends, colleagues and families to seek out service projects in their hometowns

The late Coretta Scott King embraced the King Day of Service as a meaningful way to celebrate and honor her husband's legacy. She said, "The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others."

For information about making this year's celebration a day on which tens of millions of people come out to serve their communities in King's honor -- and/or about getting involved year-round -- visit the Corporation for National & Community Service's website:

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. Visit

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