The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is usually remembered for his heroic leadership of the civil rights movement — he led the successful Montgomery bus boycott, delivered the “I Have A Dream” speech at a time when such words were still controversial, and ultimately gave his own life to the cause of equality.
But Dr. King was much more than a civil rights champion — he was a man who lived his entire life in service to others, speaking out against poverty, economic injustice, and violence. Wherever he saw suffering, he did what he could to help, no matter who it was that needed him or why they were in pain. Through his leadership, he showed us what we can accomplish when we stand together.
Each January, we remember Dr. King on his own holiday — and one of the best ways to preserve his legacy is to engage in service ourselves. As Dr. King told us, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”
That’s why this Monday, January 17th, Organizing for America volunteers will be participating in service projects all across the country in Dr. King’s honor. There will be food drives, neighborhood clean-ups, education projects, blood drives, and more.
This movement is about so much more than politics — it is about coming together through progress, change, and community. Lifting each other up in dedication and service is one of the best ways not only to honor Dr. King, but to honor each other. By giving service a new role in this country, we can establish a new foundation for our economy and a brighter future for our children.
That is why service is key to achieving our national priorities, and why Barack recently helped out at a Boys and Girls Club service event. Since moving to Washington, D.C., two years ago, he and I have gotten to know the community through similar service projects, including past Martin Luther King Day events. I treasure those opportunities, and I look forward to another one next week. Every time we pitch in, we get so much back, and always learn amazing things from our neighbors.
All of us have something to contribute, and all of us can make a meaningful difference in someone’s life. It’s a great way to remind others that they are not forgotten, and to remind ourselves that there are always things we can do.
Please help Barack and me honor the legacy of Dr. King, and join us in service to our country once again this year: