In 1994, to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others, Congress transformed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday into a national day of community service. This year, the Obama Presidential Inaugural Committee is encouraging everyone to participate in community service activities from Saturday, Jan. 17, through Monday, Jan. 19. To honor Dr. King's legacy, the president-elect and vice president-elect and their families, like Americans in communities all across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others.
The AFT encourages all of our members to participate in a community service event during the holiday weekend. Here are some suggested activities you and your families might want to consider:
- collecting food and/or clothing at your office, which can be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter;
- reading to children at a local library or shelter;
- visiting patients in a local hospital, especially in the children's ward;
- volunteering in an adult literacy class;
- gathering signatures to sign up people for a local charitable walk (e.g., a walk to raise money for breast cancer research);
- cleaning up a local playground or community park (if the weather in your area permits); or
- collecting school supplies for local schools facing cutbacks (e.g., art supplies, pencils, books, book bags).
- "You know what will work best, whether it's one of these ideas or another that has particular meaning to you and your community," says AFT president Randi Weingarten.
"I hope we can involve our members and their families in this worthwhile effort."