In Philadelphia on Monday, January 21, more than 110,000 volunteers will perform community service in over 1500 project areas as recognition of the slain civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. This day is also known as the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
In 1983 President Reagan signed a bill to create a federal holiday to pay homage to Dr. King and it was officially observed in 1986. In 1994 President Clinton signed into law the Martin Luther King Day of Service that encouraged people to use the King holiday for performing volunteer service. In 1996 Philadelphia was recognized as having the largest event in the nation to perform the day of service as a way of honoring the legacy of Dr. King.
This year, the city will experience a record number of participants.
In 1965 Dr. King spoke at Girard College and the private school will be hosting many of the projects that day. The day’s activities at the school will begin at 8:30 A.M. and at 8:45 the volunteers will begin working on projects. To be able to participate, you need to register. Please visit www.mlkdayofservice.org/volunteerlog.aspx as soon as possible.
The Philadelphia Mural Arts program will host a volunteer opportunity at Girard College, which is located at 2101 S. College Avenue, for making murals and projects out of clay. The opportunity will begin at 9:30 A.M. and end at 12 P.M. Registration is required. Please go to: www.mlkdayofservice.org/ to register.
City Year of Greater Philadelphia, an organization that provides services to children through its volunteers all year long, will be hosting two service events on that day as well from 9 A.M. until 2:30 P.M. This year the events will be held at two locations: Dimner Beeber Middle School which is located at 5925 Malvern Avenue or Samuel Gompers Elementary School which is located at 5701 Wynnefield Avenue. Registration is also required, so please go to: www.regonline.com/cygpmlkday2013.
There are also plenty of things for kids to do in order to perform acts of selflessness. The Philadelphia Art Museum, located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is holding an Art and Service Day program that lets kids create works of art that will be distributed to people in need. The cost of the program is free, after the cost of admission, and will be held from 10 A.M. until 3 P.M. For more information, please visit the museum’s website at: www.philamuseum.org.
Bartram’s Gardens, located at Lindbergh Boulevard & S. 54 Street, is hosting a free event that’s ideal for families. They’re looking for volunteers to help clean and clear the historic garden. The event will be held from 9 A.M. until 12 P.M. and it’s a wonderful opportunity to introduce your children to caring for a garden. It’s also a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Please e-mail Todd Greenberg at: email@example.com to register.
The COSACOSA Studio, located at 4427 Main Street, is looking for volunteers to help with their next phase of a mosaic project titled the Garden of Diversity at the Jackson School which is in South Philly. Volunteers will help the project bridge differences among cultures and will represent 30 different cultures that attend the school. The project will be held from 10 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. and is free.
Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “Life's persistent and most urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” The Martin Luther King Day of Service offers an opportunity to begin to answer that question.