The MLK Day of Service inspires hundreds of thousands of Americans to come together to serve their community. Citizens in all 50 states deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, and collect food and clothing. Volunteers also recruit mentors, support jobseekers, build homes and provide other services for veterans and military families, and help citizens improve their financial literacy skills. Our nation's leaders including congressional members, governors, and mayors honor Dr. King's legacy through service projects while addressing pressing community needs.
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 to mark the birthday of Dr. King as a federal holiday. Americans first observed the holiday in 1986. In 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service and charged Americorps with leading the effort. Taking place each third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service- a "day on, not a day off". This day of service helps to empower Individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, address social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."