News / USA

Americans Give Back on MLK National Day of Service

Americans Give Back on MLK National Day of Servicei
X
January 20, 2014 10:48 PM
Americans across the country paused Monday to observe the annual federal holiday marking the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. While the holiday usually means the day off from work or school, many honored Dr. King by participating in the National Day of Service. VOA’s Brian Allen has the story of the work done by President Obama and hundreds of thousands of American citizens.
Brian Allen
— Americans across the country paused Monday to observe the annual federal holiday marking the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.  While the holiday usually means the day off from work or school, many honored Dr. King by participating in the National Day of Service. 

President Obama led by example Monday, during the national day of service.

"We just want to thank everybody here for the great work they do," he said.

Alongside first lady Michelle Obama and his daughters, the family made burritos with volunteers at a local community kitchen.

Meanwhile, at Fort Dupont Park in Washington, National Park Service head Jonathan Jarvis spoke about the significance of Martin Luther King's call to service.

“The message Dr. King carried was of service to others," he said. "He asked each of us: 'What are you doing for each other, what are you doing for others, what are you doing for your community?'  And he lived that life, and he stands as a symbol for all of us.”

Heeding this message, volunteers from AmeriCorps, the Student Conservation Association, local schools and residents got their hands dirty, picking up trash and pulling weeds at the park.

“I love being in nature and I just love these parks, and I just want other people to be able to enjoy them, and the species that live here, to be able to continue to live here," said student Charlotte Leape. "I think it’s really important to pick up trash in the park.”

“I like animals, and I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up," Shannon Mueller said.  "I want to help the animals and the wildlife, anywhere, so why not go to a park and pick up trash?”

Sarah Catchot, an SCA leader, agreed.

“I really like to lead people, to give back to their communities, to get outdoors, to be in nature, to do something for the planet," she said. "There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Local resident Paul Mackie said the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service appeals to him personally.

“My grandfather marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and was a big civil rights leader in the south," he said. "I’ve always identified with MLK’s messages of service."

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service is the country’s largest day of civic engagement. 

Advocates call it a “Day On, not a Day Off.”

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid