Make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a Day of Service

By Kate Perrine January 12, 2017
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia and his birthday was first declared a federal holiday in 1986. He was a very important leader and activist during the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King devoted his life to equality, social justice, economic advancement, and opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be.

In recognition of Dr. King’s incredible legacy of service to all, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a National Day of Service in 1994. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”

The MLK Day of Service shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – today and throughout the year. Many communities will also engage in dialogue to explore ways they can address important issues. National Days of Service provide us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation.
This year's MLK Day of Service is almost here and Americans across the country are rolling up their sleeves in service. Are you and your family ready to go out and serve? Get involved and honor Dr. King’s legacy: check out to locate a service project in your community or start one of your own. What kind of projects can you do? Anything! Whatever you choose to do, you are helping to honor Dr. King and his vision.
The MLK Day of Service is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs.