Since 1994, on every third Monday in January, Americans across the country have devoted their time and energy in support of the MLK Day of Service. In 1983, congressional legislation established a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and eleven years later, Congress realized that a true celebration of the life and work of Dr. King should be a “day on, not a day off.” Intended to inspire and empower everyone to take part in strengthening their communities and finding ways to bridge barriers, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. Each MLK Day, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) leads the way in developing and promoting ways for all of us to take part in the creation of Dr. King’s dream of a “Beloved Community.”
In the spirit of the MLK Day of Service, a group of THC staff spent their day off providing service to City Year, an organization that helps youth in low-income areas achieve their educational goals. On each MLK Day of Service, City Year brings together its 3,000 AmeriCorps members and thousands more volunteers to enrich their local communities with activities like serving in soup kitchens and beautifying neighborhoods. The THC staff spent their day at Simon Elementary School in Southeast DC, where they painted murals and even did some handiwork to build new bookshelves.
Crystal Stewart, Education and Training Coordinator, helped bring THC staff together on their day off. “I’m a City Year alum, so I try to return for service projects when I can. I’m also hoping to encourage a serving tradition here at THC, and MLK Day seemed like the perfect time to kick it off,” she said.
“Through our day of service, we were able to beautify an environment for children so that when they enter their school they have a sense of pride and they are in an environment that is warm and welcoming – all things necessary to encourage the education of our children,” said Yvette Mosely, Senior Director of Quality Assurance and Clinical Services.
Thanks to Crystal, Yvette, David Woodard, Kristina Chittams and Arlaysha Hood for volunteering their day off to give back and embody THC’s overarching mission to support the children and families of DC.
For more information on City Year, visit www.cityyear.org.