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.

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid