Ten Ways to Celebrate National Day of Service 2015

Discover fun volunteer opportunities in a city near you.

Be of Service - Civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. once said that life?s most persistent and urgent question is ?What are you doing for others?? Since 1994, when the Martin Luther King Day of Service was signed into law, Americans have been answering the humanitarian?s question by donating their time to making a difference and serving their communities on this day. Keep reading to learn about volunteer opportunities available the weekend leading up to this year's MLK Day of Service on Jan. 19. ? Patrice Peck(Photo: NationalService.gov)

1 / 11

Be of Service - Civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. once said that life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?” Since 1994, when the Martin Luther King Day of Service was signed into law, Americans have been answering the humanitarian’s question by donating their time to making a difference and serving their communities on this day. Keep reading to learn about volunteer opportunities available the weekend leading up to this year's MLK Day of Service on Jan. 19. — Patrice Peck(Photo: NationalService.gov)

Brooklyn - Who: Repair the World What: Dozens of opportunities to give back, including neighborhood canvassing with S.O.S. Save Our Streets Bed-Stuy, preparing packed meals for families and sandwich making for Brooklyn Community Services. Where: 274 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA When: Jan. 19, 9:30 a.m.?5 p.m. Contact: Alli Lesovoy, (929) 242-9348, alli.lesovoy@werepair.org(Photo: Rudy Sulgan/Corbis)

2 / 11

Brooklyn - Who: Repair the World What: Dozens of opportunities to give back, including neighborhood canvassing with S.O.S. Save Our Streets Bed-Stuy, preparing packed meals for families and sandwich making for Brooklyn Community Services. Where: 274 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA When: Jan. 19, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Contact: Alli Lesovoy, (929) 242-9348, alli.lesovoy@werepair.org(Photo: Rudy Sulgan/Corbis)

Manhattan - Who: Cathedral Community Cares (CCC) What: Serve hundreds of meals to New Yorkers in need at the CCC Manhattan soup kitchen. Volunteers will also help sweep, scrub and revitalize the kitchen, in addition to other duties, which will be assigned as needed. Where: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street New York, NY 10025 When: Jan. 18, 2 p.m.?5 p.m. Contact: (212) 316-7540 Volunteers must sign up here.(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

3 / 11

Manhattan - Who: Cathedral Community Cares (CCC) What: Serve hundreds of meals to New Yorkers in need at the CCC Manhattan soup kitchen. Volunteers will also help sweep, scrub and revitalize the kitchen, in addition to other duties, which will be assigned as needed. Where: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street New York, NY 10025 When: Jan. 18, 2 p.m.–5 p.m. Contact: (212) 316-7540 Volunteers must sign up here.(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

New Jersey - Who: Montclair State University What: The MLK Day of Service will begin with breakfast and registration, followed by a video clip and a faculty speaker who will expound on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King. After the morning activities, all volunteers for the day will depart for various service activities, such as creating literacy board for students in the Newark School District, crocheting lap blankets for senior citizens, volunteering at a local soup kitchen and canvassing neighborhoods for fire safety.  Where: Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue Student Center, Montclair, NJ 07043 When: Jan. 19, 8:45 a.m.  Contact: Robin Paoletti, (973) 655-7645, paolettir@mail.montclair.edu Volunteers must sign up here.(Photo: Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis)

4 / 11

New Jersey - Who: Montclair State University What: The MLK Day of Service will begin with breakfast and registration, followed by a video clip and a faculty speaker who will expound on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King. After the morning activities, all volunteers for the day will depart for various service activities, such as creating literacy board for students in the Newark School District, crocheting lap blankets for senior citizens, volunteering at a local soup kitchen and canvassing neighborhoods for fire safety. Where: Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue Student Center, Montclair, NJ 07043 When: Jan. 19, 8:45 a.m.  Contact: Robin Paoletti, (973) 655-7645, paolettir@mail.montclair.edu Volunteers must sign up here.(Photo: Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis)

Boston - Who: City Mission Society of Boston What: Engage in a variety of activities in different sites throughout Boston, including schools, churches and local organizations. Examples of activities include painting, cooking, cleaning, sorting clothes and more. Following the service opportunity, volunteers will gather to share a meal, reflect, and celebrate together. Where: Twelfth Baptist Church, 150 Warren Street, Roxbury, Mass. 02119 When: Jan. 17, 9:30 a.m.?2:30 p.m. Contact: Carl McDonald, (617) 742-6830, cmcdonald@cmsboston.org Pre-registration and a $20 registration fee is required.(Photo: Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

5 / 11

Boston - Who: City Mission Society of Boston What: Engage in a variety of activities in different sites throughout Boston, including schools, churches and local organizations. Examples of activities include painting, cooking, cleaning, sorting clothes and more. Following the service opportunity, volunteers will gather to share a meal, reflect, and celebrate together. Where: Twelfth Baptist Church, 150 Warren Street, Roxbury, Mass. 02119 When: Jan. 17, 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Contact: Carl McDonald, (617) 742-6830, cmcdonald@cmsboston.org Pre-registration and a $20 registration fee is required.(Photo: Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

ADVERTISEMENT
Atlanta - Who: Truly Living Well What: Volunteers will help with much needed maintenance projects, including mulching, weeding, painting, repairing beds, fixing irrigation, helping with compost and other farm duties. Participants will get the opportunity to learn about how food is grown and what it takes for urban farms to make it in Atlanta. Where: Wheat Street Garden, 75 Hilliard Street NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30312 When: Jan. 19, 9 a.m.?1 p.m. Contact: Sara Ellis, (678) 973-0997, volunteer@trulylivingwell.com(Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

6 / 11

Atlanta - Who: Truly Living Well What: Volunteers will help with much needed maintenance projects, including mulching, weeding, painting, repairing beds, fixing irrigation, helping with compost and other farm duties. Participants will get the opportunity to learn about how food is grown and what it takes for urban farms to make it in Atlanta. Where: Wheat Street Garden, 75 Hilliard Street NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30312 When: Jan. 19, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Contact: Sara Ellis, (678) 973-0997, volunteer@trulylivingwell.com(Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Washington, D.C. - Who: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing What: Volunteers will be assigned to community beautification tasks in the morning, such as removal of invasive plants, litter clean up, and other grounds upkeep tasks. Lunch will be provided for volunteers and there will be service learning and reflection programming in the afternoon. Where: Columbia Grove Apartments: APAH Community Center, 1010 S. Frederick St, Arlington, Va. 22204 When: Jan. 19, 9 a.m.?2 p.m. Contact: Emily Button, (703) 851-3635, ebutton@apah.org(Photo: REUTERS/Larry Downing /Landov)

7 / 11

Washington, D.C. - Who: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing What: Volunteers will be assigned to community beautification tasks in the morning, such as removal of invasive plants, litter clean up, and other grounds upkeep tasks. Lunch will be provided for volunteers and there will be service learning and reflection programming in the afternoon. Where: Columbia Grove Apartments: APAH Community Center, 1010 S. Frederick St, Arlington, Va. 22204 When: Jan. 19, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Contact: Emily Button, (703) 851-3635, ebutton@apah.org(Photo: REUTERS/Larry Downing /Landov)

Chicago - Who: Public Allies Chicago What: Volunteers will work in different service projects around the city, including work in a local school and efforts to protect neighborhoods from vacancy and other impacts of the foreclosure crisis. Where: 180 N Michigan #1016, Chicago, Ill. 60601 and additional locations. (Call or email for details.)  When: Jan. 19, 9 a.m.?4 p.m. Contact: Cory Muldoon, (312) 229-1302, corym@publicallies.org(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

8 / 11

Chicago - Who: Public Allies Chicago What: Volunteers will work in different service projects around the city, including work in a local school and efforts to protect neighborhoods from vacancy and other impacts of the foreclosure crisis. Where: 180 N Michigan #1016, Chicago, Ill. 60601 and additional locations. (Call or email for details.) When: Jan. 19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Contact: Cory Muldoon, (312) 229-1302, corym@publicallies.org(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Houston - Who: Sewa International Houston What: Volunteers will join the Sewa team to help run event day activities for the Chevron Houston Marathon. Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, Texas 77010 When: Jan. 18, 10:30 a.m.?2 p.m. Contact: Ruba Alafifi, americorps-houston@sewausa.org(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

9 / 11

Houston - Who: Sewa International Houston What: Volunteers will join the Sewa team to help run event day activities for the Chevron Houston Marathon. Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, Texas 77010 When: Jan. 18, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Contact: Ruba Alafifi, americorps-houston@sewausa.org(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Who: Let's Read What: Volunteers will work with young students on areas that need most improvement, while providing them with encouragement and support. Each session strives to develop a one-on-one approach with volunteer and student to cultivate a more effective learning environment. After the reading session, volunteers and students join together for a group activity to create a supportive, fun, team setting. Volunteers do not need any prior teaching experience. Where: Address and directions will be sent to you by e-mail after you sign up. When: Jan. 17, 10 a.m.?12 p.m. Contact and registration can be found here.(Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) 

10 / 11

Los Angeles - Who: Let's Read What: Volunteers will work with young students on areas that need most improvement, while providing them with encouragement and support. Each session strives to develop a one-on-one approach with volunteer and student to cultivate a more effective learning environment. After the reading session, volunteers and students join together for a group activity to create a supportive, fun, team setting. Volunteers do not need any prior teaching experience. Where: Address and directions will be sent to you by e-mail after you sign up. When: Jan. 17, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Contact and registration can be found here.(Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) 

Detroit - Who: Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Belle Isle Conservancy What: Volunteers will help cut invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. Where: Meet on Woodside Drive at the trailhead parking area just northwest of the canal bridge. From the Strand, pass the athletic fields and Vista Drive then turn left at the next road. (There is a brick bathroom building at the corner.) When: Jan. 17, 9 a.m.?12 p.m. Contact: Erica Hill at hille@belleisleconservancy.org or (313) 331-7760 for registration.(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

11 / 11

Detroit - Who: Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Belle Isle Conservancy What: Volunteers will help cut invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. Where: Meet on Woodside Drive at the trailhead parking area just northwest of the canal bridge. From the Strand, pass the athletic fields and Vista Drive then turn left at the next road. (There is a brick bathroom building at the corner.) When: Jan. 17, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Contact: Erica Hill at hille@belleisleconservancy.org or (313) 331-7760 for registration.(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)