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.
On January 16, 2012, Americans across the country will honor Dr. King by helping their neighbors and communities. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the MLK Day of Service will include thousands of projects spread across all 50 states and DC.
Families, students, congregations, employees, and individuals of all ages and backgrounds will come together to celebrate MLK Day by making a difference in their communities. Projects will include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, supporting veterans and military families, promoting nonviolence, and more, with many projects starting on King Day and lasting throughout the year.
This year, CNCS is working on a few signature initiatives. They include:
MLK Drum Majors for Service. This initiative provides organizations and groups an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those volunteers who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. Drum Major awardees are presented with a President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) through CNCS, for which they receive a personalized certificate of achievement and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.
MLK Day Curriculum. CNCS has partnered with Scholastic to create and distribute curriculum units for grades 3-5 that focus on Dr. King's legacy of service. The curriculum presents the idea of service through the lenses of language arts, social studies and science.
MLK Day Legacy of Service Videos and PSA. New videos and television and radio PSAs featuring civil rights leaders including Congressman John Lewis, civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, and former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford discuss Dr. King's legacy of service and ask all Americans to serve on King Day and beyond.
The best way to honor Dr. King is through service and volunteering in our communities. Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, justice, and economic opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play. Four decades later, we still have work to do to realize Dr. King's dream.
The needs are great, many Americans are facing challenges, and government can't do it alone. We need citizens to help renew our nation and expand equality and opportunity for all. Learn more about how you can get involved on MLK 2012 by visiting mlkday.gov/.
This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling to deliver hundreds of toys that White House staff donated to Toys for Tots, an annual holiday toy drive organized by the Marines. She thanked volunteers and military families for their hard work and dedication to the 60-year old program.
On the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service this January, President Obama will recognize unsung heroes around the country who have answered the call to service. Inspired by Dr. King's historic speech on the Drum Major Instinct, the MLK Drum Majors for Service program --facilitated by the White House and the Corporation for National and Community Service -- welcomes the nomination of people in organizations and businesses who are serving their communities, often without recognition.
Operation Honor Card has successfully collected 14,000,000 pledged hours of service from Americans who want to honor military families and veterans through acts of kindness, big and small, showing appreciation for their sacrifice.
Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that veterans have made for our country and an opportunity to create a more meaningful experience for the veterans in your community. One way you can create a lasting memory of service is to record the story of a veteran in your life and contribute it to the Veterans History Project.
On Veterans Day, November 11, we honor the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. There are many ways to give back to the more than 23 million vets who have sacrificed so much.
This belief is the bedrock of A Billion + Change, a game-changing initiative that gives nonprofits insight into their own management process and programs from some of the best minds corporate America has to offer. On Thursday, the Corporation for National and Community Service joined Senator Mark Warner, as well as representatives from the Points of Light Institute, the Case Foundation and Deloitte to mark a milestone for the program -- $1 billion worth of pledges.
This year, as I reflect on the meaning of Diwali, I also remember the long journey I took to the United States and then to the gates of the White House in my current position as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Corporation for National and Community Service.