Congress advances citizen engagement in community volunteerism through recognition of two National Days of Service, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Volunteer Mississippi encourages its programs, sub-grantees and partners to organize service projects in unity with other national service participants and volunteers across the country.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off." The MLK Day of Service is a part of Serve.gov, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."
Each year, Mississippi national service programs and volunteer centers engage children and community members in service projects, parades, prayer breakfasts, and learning and discussion sessions about the legacy and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance
Each year, in honor of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, government at all levels, businesses, national service programs, and individuals work to re-ignite the spirit of unity and service that inspired Americans in the days following the September 11, 2001 tragedy. In observance of the tenth anniversary of September 11, Governor Haley Barbour released a proclamation marking September 11, 2011 as a voluntary Day of Service and Remembrance, and issued a call to citizens and organizations in Mississippi to join in activities of tribute, solemn remembrance and charitable service. Mississippians continue to respond to this call with statewide service projects and ceremonies that honor local police, fireman, veterans and military service members.
United We Serve is a nationwide service initiative that helps meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. This initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own “do-it-yourself” projects. Serve.gov is your online resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own.