January 16, 2012 marks the twenty-sixth anniversary of Martin Luther King as it was first observed. Many campaigned for a federal holiday in Dr. King’s honor after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan officially signed the holiday into law in 1983. The holiday was officially observed by all 50 states in 2000.
Martin Luther King Day turned from a “day off” to a “day on” in 1996 with the King Holiday and Service Act. The bill was presented by U.S. Senator
Harry Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis.
Service to the community was extremely important to Martin Luther King and should be an action taken by all to honor his memory. Dr. King believed in applying the principles of nonviolence to efforts of bettering the community. He believed in the beautiful idea of the “Beloved Community,” one in which all members helped each other and everyone was seen as equals because they believed in this idea of a loving community.
Martin Luther King Day is a perfect day to serve his message of equality and love for one another through volunteering. The selfless dedication for one another was exactly what Dr. King dreamed about. Volunteering is a beautiful way to show how you truly care about those in your community. There are so many opportunities for you to carry out King’s message of service to one another to make this beloved community, here are a few of ourfavorites:
- Discuss issues in your beloved community at a Sunday Supper
- Help out your co mmunity members by volunteering on January 16
- Watch a movie with your community about social issues and discuss how these issues affect your community
- Check out our toolkit to plan your service project
Martin Luther King Day is a call to action for your community, not just a day off. Who knows you may find your perfect service project through your MLK Day of service!
What are you doing to serve on Monday? We would love to hear about it!
Today’s video came from The Corporation for National and Community Service’s Youtube Channel.