Ramping Up For 2008 King Day of Service
Monday, November 5, 2007
by David Eisner,
CEO, Corporation for National & Community Service
The 2008 King Day of Service is three months away, January 21, and I hope every member of the national service family is planning to participate.
Thanks in large part to your help, the 2007 King Day of Service was the largest and most successful ever, with hundreds of thousands of Americans serving in projects in all fifty states, extensive media coverage, and many new corporate and nonprofit partners seeing the value of making the King Holiday “a day on – not a day off.”
We are within sight of the day when the King Holiday is synonymous with service, and tens of millions of Americans honor Dr. King by serving on his day.
This year, we'd like to move toward this goal by fully engaging our network -- the 7,000 plus organizations and two million Americans who make up national service. I hope that every single member of the national service family – whether you are part of Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, or Learn and Serve America – whether you are a grantee, subgrantee, project sponsor, service site, member or volunteer – will lead or participate in this year's King Day of Service. By doing this we can launch the King Day of Service to a whole new level of success and impact.
The 2008 King Holiday will be especially important as it comes 40 years after Dr. King's assassination. This means that schools, community groups, faith-based institutions, and the media will be more focused than ever on Dr. King's life and teachings. To help turn this attention into positive change for communities, we are pleased to join with other organizations to honor Dr. King through “40 Days of Nonviolence: Building the Beloved Community.” The King Day of Service will kickoff 40 days during which families, schools, faith communities, and other organizations will plan service projects and education activities promoting Dr. King's message of nonviolence and social justice.
Participating in this initiative is natural for us because the concepts of nonviolence and building the Beloved Community reflect the work national service does everyday – mentoring at-risk youth, making neighborhoods safer, expanding health services, teaching children to read, and helping people out of poverty.
To help you plan and implement the King Day of Service, please visit mlkday.gov. This site has project tips, marketing and fundraising resources, a video, and a technology tool that will allow you to register both your project and your volunteers. We will update that site with more information on the “40 Days” initiative so please check back.
January also represents the second year the Corporation is playing a leading role in National Mentoring Month. As you plan your King Day of Service activities, I hope that you will consider opportunities to link these activities by using the King Day of service to honor mentors in your community, recruit new mentors, provide training to mentoring programs, encourage mentor pairs serve together on King Day, or otherwise promote National Mentoring Month.
If you have questions or need help, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Rhonda Taylor at 202-606-6721. I look forward to the best King Day of Service ever.