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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Day of Service: Jan 18, 2016

A Day On, Not a Day Off!

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities. We provide tools and resources for organizations and individuals to become engaged in service activities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday, including grants to organizations to support volunteer projects across a state or throughout a multi-state area. Please see the opportunities below to see how you can get involved.

Visit the MLK Day of Service website for more information on how you can get involved and make the King Day of Service, "A Day On, Not a Day Off!"

What is the MLK Day of Service?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.

The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. Read More >>


Plan Your MLK Day of Service

Plan with Toolkits

MLK Day is a chance to start the year off right by making an impact in your community. Use the Toolkits to plan for the Day of Service. Learn more >>


President Obama helping a City Year volunteer

Join the hundreds of thousands of people who serve on MLK Day and throughout the year. Find a project in your community or register your own project so that volunteers can find it.


Helping servicemembers

What are your plans for MLK Day? Share your plans and share your project’s impact after MLK Day.


Past MLK Day of Service Experiences | Photo Gallery


CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer volunteers on MLK Day

The MLK Day of Service inspired hundreds of thousands of Americans to come together to make 2014 the start of a Year of Citizen Action.

If you were one of the citizens taking action, we hope you are as equally inspired to continue serving in your community. Take a look at what we all accomplished together.

Citizens in all 50 states delivered meals, refurbished schools and community centers, and collected food and clothing. Volunteers also recruited mentors, supported job-seekers, built homes and provided other services for veterans and military families, and helped citizens improve their financial literacy skills.

As the agency charged with leading the MLK Day of Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is proud to highlight the work of our partners in the nonprofit community, at all levels of government, the private sector, and the entire national service family.

Jack Lew volunteers with Wendy SpencerIn particular, the MLK Day of Service served as an opportunity for federal agencies to collaborate in the spirit of the President’s Task Force on Expanding National Service, which was established last year. The following list illustrates how this collaboration can make an impact and demonstrates how service can be an important solution to taking on our country’s biggest challenges:

  • The First Family participated in a service project at DC Central Kitchen, where they volunteered alongside veterans, some of whom are continuing their service through AmeriCorps. Vice President Biden served hot lunches to guests at SOME (So Others Might Eat) in Washington, DC.
  • Arne Duncan speaks at a MLK Day eventCNCS CEO Wendy Spencer served with the First Family and AmeriCorps members at DC Central Kitchen.  In addition, Spencer joined four cabinet secretaries—Arne Duncan from Education, Jack Lew from Treasury, Penny Pritzker from Commerce, and Eric Shinseki from Veterans Affairs—at service projects across the nation’s capital, including a VA hospital as well as public high school and a community-based organization where AmeriCorps members serve. The White House shared this video of Wendy speaking about the importance of honoring Dr. King’s legacy through service.
  • In addition,  the leaders of Peace Corps,  Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, USAID, the U.S. Trade Representative, and ONDCP rolled up their sleeves to help local organizations that are doing great work for families across the city. 
  • Outside the nation’s capital, a bipartisan group of leaders joined with citizens to pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy through community service.

Check out our photo gallery for images of citizens in action. You can find out ways to stay involved with helping your community:


Continuing a tradition he started at his first inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama is calling on Americans all across the country to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and participate in the National Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.The National Day of Service is the First Family's most treasured inaugural event, but it's not just about what can be done on...
This article by Wendy Spencer and Jonathan Greenblatt originally appeared on The White House Blog on Jan. 17, 2013.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to improving the world in which he lived—and challenged the rest of us to do the same. He not only championed the equal rights but also equal access to economic opportunity for all Americans. This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr...
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