President-elect Barack Obama and retired General Colin Powell, an honorary chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, have called upon the nation to “Renew America Together” by encouraging a national day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The federal holiday, which falls one day before the Presidential Inauguration, represents a welcomed day off to many, but is rooted in Dr. King’s words that “everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”
Initiated by Congress in 1994, King Day of Service encourages Americans to “make it a day on…not a day off.” The Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the service day, estimates the number of volunteers serving on January 19 to be in the millions.
Powell recently unveiled www.usaservice.org, a new website created by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to encourage community service efforts on January 19. With over 8,500 events registered on USAservice.org, volunteers can host or find a community event with the click of a mouse.
What’s Happening in Your Community?
With thousands of events scheduled around the country, there’s bound to be a volunteer opportunity worthy of your time. Here are some eco-friendly events happening around the nation:
- Southern California – Roll up your sleeves and join in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve wetlands clean up effort in Huntington Beach. Clean up trash, remove invasive species and meet like-minded friends at this ecological event.
- Washington D.C. – Help make D.C. litter-free for the Inaugural event. Join a group in removing trash from the SW Waterfront along the Washington Channel.
- New York– Join a group of community leaders in Athens, and plan a community garden.
- Texas – Pick-up cans, paper and litter (and then recycle them) with the Georgetown Hike & Bike Trail Clean-Up project.
The President-elect, along with Vice President-elect Joe Biden, plan to volunteer their time on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in their new community of Washington D.C.
Get in on the Action
President-elect Obama hopes that his Renew America Together inititative will inspire Americans to continue their community service efforts long after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. That philosophy might be easier to stick to than you think. How about starting a recycling program at your school or business? Earth911 offers some simple and manageable steps to ensure your recycling program thrives all year round.