The 15th annual Martin Luther King Day of Service will be Jan. 18, and the Philadelphia region once again expects to be the biggest participant in the nation.
About 65,000 volunteers participated in nearly 900 service projects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in last year's Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service.
The Day of Service celebrates the civil-rights leader's legacy by transforming the holiday "from a day off into a day on," said Todd Bernstein, president of Global Citizen and director and founder of the Great er Philadelphia King Day of Service and MLK365.
Global Citizen, a nonprofit organization, leads both the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service and MLK365, which expands the King Day of Service from a yearly to a daily volunteer and community-action effort.
The third Monday in January was named a national holiday in 1983 to celebrate Dr. King's birthday, Jan. 15, and 1994 legislation transformed the King holiday into a nationwide call to citizen action.
Any individual, family or organization can participate in the 2010 King Day of Service.
Examples of projects being planned locally for next month's Day of Service include mentoring, renovating and weatherizing houses, organizing after-school programs, creating safe-corridors programs, participating in antiviolence initiatives, preparing and distributing food at homeless shelters, delivering meals to homebound seniors, and organizing health fairs and legal clinics, Bernstein said.
Numerous companies, social-service and other agencies sponsor the King Day of Service.