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Honoring Dr. King’s Call to Service – National LISC

In nearly every speech he gave, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called upon us to open our hearts, put our values into action and work in service to others.

“Everyone can be great,” he once said, “because anyone can serve.”

Service has long been at the root of LISC’s work to revitalize American communities. But the call to serve feels especially pressing around the time of Dr. King’s birthday because we are reminded of his example. Starting this weekend, LISC staff and more than 130 AmeriCorps members working with LISC partners will honor MLK Day by volunteering their time in service projects in cities and rural communities across the country.

LISC Americorps on MLK Day

In Newark, NJ, for example, they will distribute warm clothes and toiletries, and serve a hot, homemade meal to homeless people in a park adjacent to the city’s railroad station. San Diego team members will build picnic tables and do landscaping in a new open air market that’s part of a small business initiative to support emerging entrepreneurs.

And in Milwaukee, LISCers will bring their brawn and brains and heart to a Habitat for Humanity project that’s helping families realize the dream of home ownership. They’ll be applying the finishing touches to a new house in the Washington Park neighborhood, hammering drywall, painting and installing blinds and hardware—and serving lunch to the community, too.

Those are just three of dozens of projects unfolding this weekend—each an opportunity for us to experience the transformative power, both personal and public, of helping communities become stronger.