Dr. King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place to live.In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service.Every third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off." The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."
The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings into community action that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, or it may meet a need of the spirit. On this day, First 5 Service Corps AmeriCorps and VISTA members honored Dr.King's dream by participating in service projects across the state of California. At Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Ana, members helped paint a US map mural on the playground floor. On Tuesday morning, the children of the elementary will have a pleasant surprise as they run to their designated classes and find a new brightly painted map of the United States. At OC Food Bank, members were assigned on an assembly line to pack various food items into boxes to be later distributed to low income needy families. Over 7,000 boxes were packed by community volunteers. VISTA members also took part in the statewide effort homeless count with HUD. Dedicated members walked the streets of their counties ion the cold morning to count homeless individuals living on the streets. What a fantastic way to spend the day and honor a great man!