News / USA

National Day of Service Honors Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.

National Day of Service Honors Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.i
X
January 17, 2013 11:06 PM
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Washington to witness President Barack Obama's second inauguration. The president will be publicly sworn in on Monday, the national holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The inauguration's events begin with a National Day of Service on Saturday January 19 honoring the legacy of the late civil rights leader. President Obama is asking people to participate in projects that serve their communities. VOA's Chris Simkins has the story.

National Day of Service Honors Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Chris Simkins
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Washington to witness President Barack Obama's second inauguration. The president will be publicly sworn in on Monday, the national holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The inauguration's events begin with a National Day of Service on Saturday January 19 honoring the legacy of the late civil rights leader. President Obama is asking people to participate in projects that serve their communities.

Stephanie Garlick is fighting hunger. She's volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, doing what she can to help the less fortunate.  

"There is so much depression, and so many people are struggling with hard economic times and other issues, and giving of yourself just a little bit of time helping other people really lifts your spirit," Garlick said.

Stephanie is one of 18,000 volunteers who give their time so the organization can distribute food to 500,000 children, seniors and families with single parents. Volunteers help save the agency more than $2 million in operating costs a year.

"We work with people every single day of the week whether it is sorting of food that comes in donations that is where we work with most of our volunteers," said. Matt Crawford, who directs the volunteers.

To mark the federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, President Obama is asking Americans to participate in service projects.

Before he was assassinated in 1968, Dr. King was leading what he called the "Poor People's Campaign,"  an effort to alleviate poverty and hunger across the country.

"I thank President Obama for his call, and we join proudly in that call. But we absolutely need individuals and civil society to join in the fight because it's a big problem and really when we all pull together that is when we are most likely to be able to end hunger," said Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority are doing what they can to help people and communities in need. For the last century the 260,000 member public service sorority and the nation's largest African American women's organization has been involved in countless service projects. Francine Blake from Ohio says community service is a lifetime commitment for this sorority.

"We serve the community not just on the local level, not just on the national level, but on the international level. We have now given scholarships to millions of young ladies to go to school and also young men," Blake said.

The sorority will be serving others on the MLK holiday.  

Public service organizations hope a national day of service will encourage more people to volunteer in community projects throughout the year.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid