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MLK Day

The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.Gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.

Today, President Obama, the First Lady, and Malia Obama volunteered at a local elementary school as part of a national day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King, who devoted his life to helping others, once said that “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

Monuments are built to those who change the course of history. It is right and fitting that a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. now stands in the heart of our nation's Capital. Even as we renew our understanding of Dr. King's legacy by visiting this beautiful monument; we can honor the legacy of Dr. King by following his example, by serving and volunteering in our communities.

On March 16, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his last visit to the city of Los Angeles. He used that occasion to deliver a speech calling for an end to poverty, and to build support for a Poor People's Campaign to demand jobs, health care and housing for the country's poor.

Thanks to so many of you, the momentum of the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is building and the results will be extraordinary! 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.

Hurricane season is an anxious time for Americans living along the coastal regions of the United States. But when Tropical Storm Lee spread its destruction inland last September, volunteer leaders like Bruce Barney and Sharon Early made a difference in their community's recovery efforts. Their commitment led to their selection as 2012 Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service award recipients.

In this video, Reverend Lowery remembers his friend “Martin” and urges us to “look around and see who's not enjoying all the benefits that they should.” Reverend Lowery asks us, “How can we fill the gaps? How can we meet the needs of those who need the most?”

The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday is a National Day of Service, and a time to re-commit ourselves to serving each other and our communities. This year, CNCS will shine a spotlight on the connection between service and economic opportunity, and promote the MLK Day of Service as the first of many opportunities throughout the year for Americans to come together and tackle critical challenges for the greater good.

For several years now, volunteers from the Department of Transportation have observed the Martin Luther King holiday with "a day on, not a day off." And yesterday, many from DOT did so once again by working on a terrific beautification project at Ballou High School here in Washington, DC.

Volunteers packed the D.C. Armory in Washington, DC, on Jan. 19, 2013, to participate in Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service and National Day of Service activities. Participants assembled 100,000 care kits for Operation Gratitude and wrote letters to U.S. soldiers during the event. Watch this blog for more National Day of Service photos from around the nation.

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