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Now is a great time to start planning a King Holiday project and I thought I would share this email from our Acting CEO, Nicola Goren.

This January marks the Ninth Annual National Mentoring Month, an opportunity for all of us to recognize the important role that mentors play in the lives of young people all over the country. This year's National Mentoring Month focuses on developing ways to mobilize more community volunteers to mentor young people and increasing knowledge about the benefits mentoring has on a young person’s long-term health and productivity. Mentoring can truly change lives; it has been proved to increase the chances of a young person graduating from high school and attending college, and decrease the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

Town Park Village, a residential complex in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, will welcome seven hundred volunteers to landscape and green the community as a way of honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. This January 16th event is only the latest in a series of projects that Hands On Miami has coordinated in Overtown, one of Miami’s most underserved communities. Last year, Hands On Miami helped to create and furnish two community centers for the seniors and young people of Town Park Village, and two kindergarten classrooms at the neighboring charter school, among several other projects.

Everyone has a wish list – we know that many schools have tech wish lists – nagging projects that just never seem to get completed; or fun, new and innovative projects that you need just a bit more capacity to get off the ground. The MLK Tech Challenge is here to help. The aim is simple: to connect schools that have technology needs with IT and web professionals, developers, graphic designers and new media professionals who are willing to volunteer their skills for good, by taking on these technology projects and giving back to a school in need.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is one of those days when everyone can come together around a common cause and mission. Throughout the week we will be highlighting stories of service from across the country and today we have the opportunity to share with you our 2010 Ambassadors of Service.

If you are like me, you made New Year’s resolutions this year that were fairly similar to the ones you made last year. Each year in late December, I resolve to “turn over a new leaf” and make better use of my spare time. Some of the items that reappear most frequently on my list are: volunteer more, learn more about my community, connect with my neighbors, and do something that benefits others. Although these resolutions seem simple enough, I often need a little push to translate them into reality. Instead of taking the initiative, I make excuses that “I don’t have enough time; I don’t know where to volunteer; I don’t know what opportunities are out there.”

The President has been receiving updates on the urgent situation in Haiti late into last night and throughout the day, and top members of his team have been convening to formulate the government response.

Boston-based rockers Thirteen Yards to Victory couldn't help but notice the headlines in the local newspapers and the announcements on social media sites that many arts and music education programs in their area were being cut severely. The bad economy was going to mean a poor education for so many students.

On September 11, more than a dozen Cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials commemorated the heroism of those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, and remembered their spirit of sacrifice by engaging in service and volunteerism as part of the first officially recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

In 85 years of life, one would expect to have many fond memories to reflect upon. But nothing was as joyful as the day New Jersey resident Eugenia Kawczak reunited with her beloved and missing siblings with the help of the Red Cross.


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