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James “Major” Adams was raised on Chicago's Westside and served in the Army during World War II. When he completed his military service, Adams returned to Chicago and worked for various agencies including Jane Addams' Hull House, one of the city's oldest social and human services programs.

This weekend was a major moment for national service, and I want to share some of the many highlights that inspired me.

The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the blog. In this series, we showcase articles that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. This week, we’re focusing on some of the great stories about the National Day of Service and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service from around the nation.

A new video and photos from the National Day of Service and Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service show the enthusiasm of people around the nation as they used the time to volunteer during the holiday weekend.

As residents returned to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, a group of young black Catholics from the Archdiocese of New Orleans formed the IMANI Team (IMANI meaning “faith” or “belief” in Swahilli), a youth group from black Catholic parishes and schools that united to serve the African-American community of the archdiocese, to encourage and to help rebuild a sense of spiritual community and renewal across the Crescent City. The efforts by this group of young leaders are being recognized with a 2012 Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service award.

Today the First Family honored Dr. Martin Luther King with a visit to Stuart Hobson Middle School, where they took part in a mentoring project organized by Greater DC Cares’ Mentoring Matters Initiative. The President said a few quick words:

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, 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.

On Monday January 17th 2011 hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in service projects across the country. From painting schools to serving meals to writing letters to troops, these dedicated volunteers made a positive difference in their communities.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to the work of building a more just and equal society. While we have made great progress, we still have work to do to realize Dr. King’s dream. As Americans, that is a job for all of us – not just on MLK Day but throughout the year.

This week we’ll be featuring a few of the stories of the MLK Drum Major for Service award honorees. MLK Drum Majors for Service are the helping hands who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. The awards were a chance for faith and community leaders to acknowledge and honor their service.


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