Martin Luther King Day of Service: January, 19th 2009

President-elect Barack Obama Issues National Call to Service on MLK Day of Service

President-elect Barack Obama is calling on Americans across the nation to volunteer in the January 19, 2009 Martin Luther King Day of Service. The upcoming Martin Luther King Day falls on the day before Obama’s historic inauguration. The President-elect will celebrate King Day along with Vice-President Joe Biden and their families by volunteering in a service project in Washington, D.C. and will be calling on all Americans to join him in ongoing active citzenship. “I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am president of the United States,” Obama said.

From the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

“Renewing America’s promise begins with each one of us making a commitment to br ing change to our local communities. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the day before Inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama is calling upon all Americans to participate in a national day of service, following in the legacy of one of America’s great social justice leaders.

President-elect Obama never asks more of us than he himself is willing to give. He and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be joining thousands of volunteers in Washington, DC, on January 19 to honor the late Martin Luther King Jr. through service.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has begun reaching out to all sorts of national service organizations – including faith-based groups, unions, businesses and political groups – asking for their members’ participation. We want to bring together all Americans in shared purpose, to set aside all that divides us and focus on our collective ability to bring change to our communities. Jan uary 19 will be just the beginning of a broader push for Americans to give back throughout the year.”

Organizations are invited to host service projects on January 19. Examples include starting a mentoring program, renovating and weatherizing houses, organizing after school programs, beautifying schools and recreation centers, creating safe corridors programs, participating in anti-violence initiatives, preparing and distributing food at homeless shelters, delivering meals to homebound seniors, reading with children about Dr. King, organizing health fairs and legal clinics and performing plays about Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement.

Any individual, family or group interested in volunteering or hosting a January 19 King Day of Service project should egister online at

Related Events in Western Massachusetts

Greenfield, MA – On Friday, January 16th at 7 pm, students of the Greenfield Middle School are currently working on a multi-media presentation for the celebration and honoring of the life of Martin Luther King. Included in this event will be the opening of a mural installation created by the students, poetry, recitations and song.  It will be a great opportunity to begin to build the diverse community that was part of King’s vision and to support our young people as they begin to explore the issues of peace and justice in their lives.  Call Traprock for more information – 413-773-7427

Northampton, MA – On Monday, January 19th will be a full day of community events are planned to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Involving special guests, including Juanita Nelson, Lee Stringer and Cynthia McKinney, the daylong events are sponsored by organizations working locally, nationally and internationally:

A Day of Community in Northampton, MA

10:30am – 11:45am – AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE TOUR:  Meet at the Sojourner Truth Memorial Satute (Pine and Park Streets in Florence, MA).  This 1.5 mile walk will pass thehomes of Sojourner Truth, other former slaves, and underground railroad sites.

Noon – LUNCH/NORTHAMPTON HIGH SCHOOL:  380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA

1pm – 5pm – COMMUNITY GATHERING:  Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street.  A program on racism, unity and community with special guests, including Juanita Nelson.  Youth generated video and dance.  Participate in Dream Workshops to create videos to send to President Obama!

For more info contact American Friends Service Committee at 413-584-8975 or at

6 Comments on “Martin Luther King Day of Service: January, 19th 2009

  1. In honor of the innauguration, I took some groceries to the Odyssey Bookshop. As many of you know, area food pantries are much in need of supplies given our current economic concerns.

    Thank you to the organizers of this event in honor of the Innauguration, it was a nice way to honor Dr. King, and a new page in our history.

  2. Is there a choral event in Springfield celebrating martin luther kind day?
    today, monday?

  3. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., students at The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School in semi-rural Haydenville, MA and the students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence in urban Springfield, MA will take part in a joint celebration and day of service. The City School / Country School project is supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA). Read more about it here:

  4. Odyssey Bookshop

    Janury 10, 2009
    Dear friends,

    As you may be aware, January 19th is being declared a “National Day of Service” by the President Elect Barack Obama.

    In recognition of that day, the Odyssey Bookshop will be the site of the South Hadley food drive for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

    From Monday, January 12 through Monday, January 19, there will be a box at the Odyssey for food donations.

    Current list of most-needed items:

    * Canned beans
    * Tuna
    * Rice and canned soup or stew
    * Spaghetti and canned spaghetti sauce
    * Canned pasta meals
    * Peanut butter and jelly
    * Low-sugar cereals

    For more on the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, see their website.

    Please stop by the Odyssey sometime between January 12th and 19th, drop off what you can, and share this event with all your friends! It’s easy to contribute!

    Thank you and we hope to see you soon.

    Joan Grenier and Neil Novik,
    Co-Owners of the Odyssey Bookshop

    and Sarah Etelman, host of this Event.

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