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Family Matters Blog: Groups Turn Day Off Into Day of Service

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2011 – On Monday, the nation will mark the 25th anniversary of the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

For more than 15 years, MLK Day has been recognized as a day of service, an opportunity for communities and individuals to give back. Each year on this day, thousands of nonprofit service groups lead community projects, pitching in to help with everything from serving meals to beautifying schools.

Many others choose to honor this day by giving back to military members and veterans and their families.

I wanted to highlight just a few of the groups that are mobilizing Jan. 17 in support of the military.

-- In Gulfport, Miss., Harrison County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program volunteers will repair the home of a veteran and his family that was damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

-- In Franklin, W.V., Potomac Highland Support Services volunteers will write thank you notes to veterans of World Wars I and II and host a small celebration for nine veterans at a local nursing home.

-- In Beckley, W.V., the Appalachian Coal County Team will set up a recreation center at a Veterans Affairs hospital for veterans and their visitors.

-- In Flagstaff, Ariz., volunteers with the Northern Arizona University Civic Service Institute will prepare and serve a hot lunch for up to 50 homeless veterans. Veterans also will receive mending services for clothes in need of repair and a hand-knit hat and scarf made by a local Senior Corps volunteer.

-- From Utah to Kentucky, volunteers will send cards and letters to military personnel serving in combat zones, veterans and military families to show support and thank them for their service.

It’s not too late to join a volunteer effort in your own community.

For more information, visit the MLK Day of Service website or  the United We Serve website. The MLK Day of Service is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency tasked with engaging Americans of all ages in service to meet critical local and national needs, and is part of United We Serve,  the president's national call to service initiative.

To comment on this blog, or read other posts, visit the Family Matters website.


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