ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala.—The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service invites the world to share in Dr. King’s vision of a “beloved community.” Many Americans observe the holiday by volunteering their time and talents in their community on the third Monday in January each year. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is responsible for coordinating these national efforts.
On Jan. 20, the MLK Day of Service will celebrate its 25th anniversary. It remains the only national holiday that focuses on community service.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
To capture the value and impact of volunteers, Alabama Extension developed the Volunteer in Urban Programs (VIP). Today, youth and adults that sign up for VIP learn how to implement Urban Extension programs in Alabama communities. As a VIP, participants are able to:
- Give back to their community.
- Make a difference in the lives of others.
- Meet new people and discover new interests.
- Gain valuable experience and skills they can add to their resume.
“VIPs learn how to communicate and interact with people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Kimberly Holmes, an Alabama Extension assistant director. “Such skills are transferable, and therefore, can be applied in any work or community setting.”
CNCS Service Stats in America
Last year Americans served their communities as follows:
- 97 percent engaged in fundraising activities
- 22 percent were involved in food service activities
- 50 percent collected and distributed clothing
- 23 percent tutored or educated students
- 26 percent mentored young people
- 23 percent provided transportation and labor support
More than 1 million residents in Alabama volunteered in their communities at an estimated value of $2 billion.
Visit the All For Good website to search for volunteer opportunities on Jan. 20 in your community. For those interested in volunteering year-round, contact your county Extension office or contact Shanetria Brown at (256) 372-4942.