From the pulpit of a small church in Montgomery, Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a message to his congregation that would lay the groundwork for his enduring legacy of service. In talking about the importance for individuals to be concerned with the broader needs of all humanity, he insisted that life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others? As we celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, as well as the 57th Presidential Inauguration, we do so with that question in mind. Thankfully, the task of serving others has been made easier, as January 19th marks the fourth annual National Day of Service.

The idea is simple. On Saturday, our nation will come together to support our communities’ needs. Visit the website to search for volunteer opportunities close to where you live, and if you’re in the D.C. metro area, you may consider participating in activities on the National Mall. The National Day of Service has something for everyone, with organizations representing health, education, community resilience (disaster relief), economic development, veterans and military families, faith, and the environment.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., you can join service organizations from across the country and find out how you can support their efforts during the day. Several of these organizations are offering micro-service activities like writing cards to the children’s hospital or preparing care packages for troops.

We face vast challenges as a society that can’t be solved by any single entity. And while we hope you can find a service activity you enjoy this weekend, we also encourage you to consider volunteering regularly. Commit to being a positive force for change in your community for the long haul and take the Pledge to Serve.

If you head out to serve this weekend, share your photos on Twitter using the #2013MLKDay and #GoodSpotting hashtags so your pics go into our #GoodSpotting gallery! We look forward to seeing your experiences as we all remember and honor one of the great public servants of history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

National Day of Service Opportunities

  • Join the Presidential Inaugural Committee at the Service Fair on the National Mall
  • Find a service event in your hometown! Be part of the National Day of Service.
  • Take the Pledge to Serve during 2013!
  • Join Points of Light to Unite America in Service and pack 100,000 care kits for deployed US service members, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders.
  • Transform a high-need school into a more engaging, educational and vibrant place for students to learn and play by participating in City Year Washington DC’s initiative.
  • Support Be The Match by signing up for their registry, becoming a social volunteer, or hosting a marrow drive, all on their Facebook page.