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National Organizations Selected to Lead 2009 King Day of Service

Friday, July 25, 2008   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Greg Heinrich
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Organizers Plan to Make 2009 Service Day the Largest Ever

Washington, D.C. -- The growing movement to make the King Holiday a national day of service will get a powerful boost from the leadership of seven national organizations selected for King Day of Service grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Building on the momentum from last year, these organizations will activate their networks, reach out to new partners, mobilize volunteers, and provide cross-sector leadership for the annual King Day of Service, which next year falls on January 19, 2009.

Participation in the King Day of Service has grown every year since Congress passed legislation in 1994 urging Americans to honor Dr. King by engaging in service on his holiday. Last year, more than 500,000 Americans took part in 5,000 projects from coast to coast -- building homes, delivering meals, refurbishing schools, reading to children, signing up as mentors, and much more.

“Every year more Americans are making the King Holiday a day on, not a day off – a day of service and action to honor a great America hero and build his dream of a Beloved Community,” said Corporation CEO David Eisner. “Even more importantly, we are seeing these volunteers come back and serve in their communities during the rest of the year. With the leadership of these grantees, the power of this idea, and the momentum for service in our nation, the King Day of Service is ready to grow on a massive scale.”

The Corporation has worked with the King Center in Atlanta and other partners to encourage more projects that serve as a springboard for year-round service, such as recruiting mentors or school-based projects that extend over a semester. The agency also sees the King Day of Service as a powerful way to engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in providing service to others.

A total of $700,000 will go to the seven grantees to support 2009 activities, the first year of a three-year grant cycle. While each of the grantees brings a different approach, they share the goals of expanding overall participation, engaging more disadvantaged youth; incorporating reflections on Dr. King's life and teachings, and using the holiday as a gateway for ongoing service. As part of their grant, each will reach out to organizations inside and outside their network to carry out service projects on the day.

The grantees are:

· The Points of Light Institute will receive $150,000 to fund sub-grant projects focused on increasing support for youth in disadvantaged circumstances by combining with their Hands on Schools, Neighboring Initiative, Kids Care Clubs, and Earned Income Tax Credit sites.

· The Corps Network will receive $100,000 to support sub-grantees and affiliates, sustaining their broader work by expanding outreach and community presence and capitalizing on the King Day of Service as a time to recruit new partners and volunteers for that day and for activities throughout the year.

· The North Carolina Campus Compact will receive $100,000 to engage students in project planning, connect them with local communities, and expand the MLK Day of Service by enhancing the students' sense of responsibility, citizenship, leadership, and awareness, while reinvigorating higher education's concern for improving the quality of life.

· Youth Service America will receive $100,000 to engage up to 15 lead agencies in YSA's Semester of Service, which is designed to engage 25,000 students between the ages of 5 and 25 to serve at least 70 hours during the school semester. These lead agencies will also be invited to participate in YSA's Global Youth Service Day training institute to prepare for Semester of Service activities.

· Service for Peace will receive $97,500 to mobilize volunteers from new populations and organizations that have not previously served on the King Holiday. To accomplish this, they have established a “40 Days of Peace” program that will leverage the involvement of new partners.

· Campus Kitchen will receive $77,500 to bring college students and the community together to address issues surrounding hunger by engaging youth in leading hunger relief programs to share on-campus kitchen space, recover unused food from campus cafeterias, and deliver meals to low-income neighborhoods.

· The National Alliance of Faith and Justice will receive $75,000 to fund sub-grantees that support efforts to engage youth in service by giving them the opportunity to apply the teachings of non-violent social change to issues in the communities and schools.

Representatives of these organizations are meeting in Washington today and tomorrow to strategize on how to engage more individuals and communities in the 2009 holiday. The grants are one of several ways the Corporation supports the King Day of Service. The agency encourages all of its 7,000 plus grantees in Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America to lead or participate in projects; works with dozens of nonprofit and corporate partners; offers materials to help groups raise funds and recruit volunteers; and provides training and technical support.

Organizations of all types -- companies, schools, clubs, nonprofits, public agencies, student and service-learning groups – are encouraged to participate and begin planning now for 2009 holiday. The King Day of Service website at has a wealth of resources to help organizations plan and carry out service projects on the holiday.

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet local needs through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit

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