Wednesday, January 14, 2009

5 Ways to Participate on the MLK Day of Service

Did you know that Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994 making it a national day of volunteer service?

I didn't, until President-elect Barack Obama asked Americans to volunteer on MLK Day, and throughout the year.

Below are 5 ways you can get involved:

1. Volunteer!

To promote and facilitate Americans being of service, the Obama team has launched You can search for a service event on the site, or list your own.

You can also search for volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch, Idealist, Social Actions, Network for Good, 1-800,,, Volunteer Solutions, and GuideStar.

2. Spread the Word

Let your network of friends, family and colleagues know that MLK Day is a day of service, and where they can search for volunteer opportunities. has a Faceboook Cause that you can join, share with friends, and feature on your profile.

Vicki of Zazengo shared more ways to spread the word in her Social Actions blog post, Help Promote MLK Day on Facebook + Zazengo.

3. Enter the YouTube Contest is also sponsoring a YouTube contest. Submit your video of 3 minutes or less telling the story of what you plan to do on MLK Day. Submissions are due by 11:59pm EST January 15th, 2009, so you don't have much time!

The winning videos will be featured on, and the creator of the best video will get a phone call from future First Lady Michelle Obama.

4. Read has a blog (which unfortunately doesn't accept comments), where until January 19th they are featuring a wonderful range of guest blog posts. Here's who they've featured so far:
5. Watch (and Share) the PSA

The Inaugural Blog announced on Monday, "New Public Service Announcement Encourages Americans to Step Forward and Serve." You can watch President Elect Obama's message on YouTube, or below. There is a Spanish version available as well.

Michelle Obama also recorded a message asking people to volunteer in their community which you can watch on YouTube, or below:

I'm looking forward to seeing how evolves beyond MLK Day. Will you be volunteering this year? If so, how?

Cross-posted from


  1. Hi Britt, great post, very useful to see all the activity going on. Thanks for the mention of the Zazengo Impact Challenge application too!!

  2. Great post - I also have been getting the word out.

    I'm also excited to volunteer with my oldest daughter (6 yrs old) to help with Meals on Wheels on Monday.

  3. Hi cdb and Christopher,

    I'm glad you both enjoyed the post.

    That's great that you are volunteering with your daughter, Christopher! I hope you had a lovely day.

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