King Day of Service


Martin Luther King Day is the only US national holiday honoring a private citizen. The holiday celebrates the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, a pacifist minister who dedicated his life to defend civil rights. The quote from King most often cited in support of this day of service is:

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: "'What are you doing for others?'" - Dr. Martin Luther King

On the third Monday of January, across the United States, thousands of volunteers organize service projects to address some of the most pressing challenges that face the nation. Whether it is cleaning trash from parks, serving food at a soup kitchen, providing career planning resources for inner city kids, planting trees to restore a forest, or building homes for the homeless, MLK's Day of Service is truly a day where the best of our country comes together to make a difference.

To find a volunteer opportunity in your area, please go to


After his assassination in 1968, a fifteen year effort was mounted to create the national holiday, which was enacted a federal holiday in 1983, however it wasn't until 2000 that all the states recognized the holiday officially.

The idea of creating a day of service around Dr. King's holiday popped up in the 90's, signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The idea of the King Day of Service is to "have a day on, not a day off."


  • The desire to serve your community

  • Find a volunteer opportunity - you can search the web, ask your Chamber of Commerce, see what your school might be organizing, or just go to a neighbor in need and ask how you can help.


It depends on what volunteering you're going to do... but the first step is just deciding to have a day on, instead of a day off!