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Martin Luther King Day/National Day of Service


On Monday, January 21, most schools and businesses in the United States will be closed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday is also National Day of Service. In 1983, Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday. In 1994, eleven years later, Congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of service and the Corporation of National and Community Service was charged with leading this special day.
Martin Luther King Day/National Day of Service is a key part of the President Obama’s United We Serve, a national call for volunteerism. This service initiative looks to united all Americans on solving the social issues the nation faces.   In short, this day works to break down barriers, open channels of communication, and foster caring communities while leading us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
United Way of Southeast Alaska invites you to think of Monday as a day on, not a day off. Everyone, no matter of age, abilities, or backgrounds, is encouraged to participate.  The aim of National Day of Service is to have all Americans working together creating a better tomorrow for future generations while also celebrating the Dr. King’s teachings of community and life. National Day of Service also services as a reminder that one day can have an enormous impact and pushes individuals to imagine what can be done with multiple days of service.
This year,  local organizations are offering service opportunities:
  • The Black Awareness Association of Juneau is having a food drive at the MLK Day celebration “Living the Dream” at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, for Love INC. Bring a non perishable item or two with you as you enjoy the festivities. 
  • SAGA is hosting “Letters to the Troops” at three locations, the Wharf, Mendenhall Mall, and Nugget Mall from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Come out, even if for a few minutes, to write a letter showing support to the troops.
  • Two free legal clinics will be held from Monday 9:00 AM-Noon at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in the valley, and Noon-4:00 PM at the Dimond Courthouse downtown. Lawyers will help answer varies legal questions ranging from eviction, child support, and custody to Medicare, Medicaid, and social security.
If Monday does not work, the Girl Scouts of Juneau are picking up litter around their office and neighbor, on Saturday January 19, beginning around 10:00 AM. Some of the scouts have crafted their own projects as well. For more information or to volunteer, contact Taralee at (907) 586-1710.
Everyone should try to get out and find a way to improve the surrounding community even if an organized project is not available. Organize one yourself and invite friends and family members to join you. Clean a local park, help out at a local soup kitchen, or just help someone carry groceries to their car. Purchase a few extra cans of beans and donate them to a local food pantry.  Let Monday be the kick off to serving your community in 2013!