"Life's most persistent and urgent question," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, "is, what are you doing for others?"
As we mark the 84th birthday of Dr. King this weekend, Americans across the country will honor his legacy by coming together to serve their neighbors and communities during a national day of service.
In 1994, Congress declared that the federal holiday marking Dr. King's birthday should be a "day on" rather than a "day off," and they officially designated it as a national day of service. Since then, millions of Americans have honored his legacy by giving up their "day off" and turning it into a "day on" to serve others. I'm proud to note that this year Goodwill® will join hundreds of other organizations in organizing service events across the country, from sorting donations for people affected by Hurricane Sandy in New York to organizing clothing drives and youth mentoring programs.
This year's day of service will take on added significance as it also coincides with President Obama's inauguration. This Saturday, as part of the inaugural events, thousands of Americans will fill the National Mall in Washington, D.C, for the Service Summit, where attendees can find opportunities to volunteer with organizations both during the national day of service on Monday, and throughout the year.
As President Obama stated,
This year's inaugural will reflect our belief that working together, we can keep moving our country forward and fulfill the promise of the American Dream for all families. The Service Summit will use the momentum of the inauguration to expand this vision to a 'year on' for community service by calling on the public to pledge to serve throughout 2013. After all, Dr. King's vision included us all working to better our communities throughout the year, not just for one day.
Goodwill will join Chelsea Clinton, Eva Longoria, Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth and others on the National Mall for a day of promoting service opportunities. Anyone who is interested can join, and you can RSVP for the event via the National Day of Service website. Those who can't make it to Washington can find a local service project below: