MLK Day of service volunteer opportunities

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - Dr Martin Luther King Jr. once said "life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?" His words live on today and that phrase is something that's recognized and celebrated across the country with a national day of service.

In 1994, congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service. The day is part of "United we serve," the president's national call to service initiative.

Hundreds of people in Jacksonville will do their part for the MLK Jr. day of service and remembrance, and there is still a chance for people to get involved.

This is something that has been going on for a decade now. Hands on Jacksonville is the group that organizes our local day of service programs, and for the first time, they've also partnered with United Way to create more service projects.

"When you make that choice to do something to help others, that's when things get really amazing in here," Judith A.M. Smith, the president and CEO of Hands on Jacksonville said. "So you change somebody else's life but you also change your own life when you volunteer."

The day of service is on Monday, and Smith says they encourage people to make it a day on, not off, by volunteering. But because many people still have to work on Monday, they've planned a full calendar of volunteer opportunities for Saturday as well.

"(Saturday) is the big exciting one where we all get together and ra ra. We have elected officials there kind of launching everybody, getting everybody excited and inspired our friends from united way will be there with us to launch this and then out they go, out go the volunteers into the neighborhood to do all these amazing projects," Smith said.

From delivering heaters to people's homes to painting a historic building in Springfield, about 300 people will volunteer tomorrow and another 200 on Monday. There are still a couple projects you can register for.

"One of them is a neighborhood clean up and that's always fun," Smith said.

"Get together with your friends and clean the place up you can really see progress nicely and the other one where we still need volunteers tomorrow is going in groups through the neighborhoods to disseminate all these amazing real sense financial information."

If you're interested in volunteering for either Saturday or Monday, visit

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