MLK Day of Service: A Day On, Not a Day Off

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stain shelves during a National Day of Service school improvement project at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stain shelves during a National Day of Service school improvement project at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Each year Americans across the country answer that call to service on the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday. 

Taking place every year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”

The MLK Day of Service reminds us that volunteering empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

But according to the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 15.2% of Latinos do some sort of volunteering. 

So this year let’s make a difference in the community! Where will you be and how can you help others on Monday, January 20?   

For information on where and how you can serve and take part in this national day of service, please visit MLK Day of Service.

Celinda Peña is a Special Advisor with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

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