January 8, 2015
RE: Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and National Day of Service Opportunities
We are now just 10 days away from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Here in New Jersey, our State’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission has scheduled a major commemoration. This event will take place on Sunday, January 18, from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625. You can register and reserve free tickets to this ceremony on the web at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-nj-martin-luther-king-jr-commemorative-tickets-14706891709. You can also call 609-633-9627 for tickets and information.
The following day, Monday, January 19, will mark the 21st Annual MLK Day of Service. Doctor King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"
Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
Please let your local service associations, organizations, clubs and societies know that they can register, and seek volunteers to assist with, significant MLK Day of Service projects at the Corporation for National & Community Service at http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/martin-luther-king-jr-day-service-0.
Examples of New Jersey service opportunities already registered include the Trenton YMCA’s MLK Day of Service, Burlington County Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store Volunteer project, the Camden Center for Volunteer Services Neighborhood Clean-up, the Union Beach MLK Day With United Way Rebuild NJ project, the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Day of Service and many more.
Also, please let your employees and residents know that they can browse the project lists and register to volunteer for a program that suits their talents and interests at the same site.
On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Congresswoman Katie Hall of Indiana, creating a federal holiday to honor Dr. King. It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to
transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994.
We hope many New Jerseyans will be able to honor the memory of a great civil rights leader and make this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday “A day on. Not a day off.” In that, they can help to make their own municipalities and our State a little bit better.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.