Community

History of MLK Day of Service

The National Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a nationwide effort to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into a day of community service that help solve social problems. It was created in 1994 through federal legislation co-authored by former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Harris Wolford and U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, both veterans of the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. King. Wolford and others led some 3,000 volunteers in 150 service projects, along with corporate sponsors, community leaders, students, volunteers and people from throughout the region all to honor Dr. King's legacy and uplift the community as he would have with a "Day On" of service, not a "Day Off."

Since that time, the project has caught hold around the U.S. and grown tremendously. By example, the Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, held the record in 2011 for the largest King Day of Service event in the nation. A record 75,000 people of all ages and backgrounds volunteered in some 1,200 service projects.

More information about the MLK Day of Service is available at MLKDAY.gov.

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