Can the MLK Day of Service Become a Way of Life?

- It's the Martin Luther King holiday...and all over the country, men, women and children used their day off from work or school, as a day of service to others.

 

In Philadelphia alone... 140-thousand volunteers gave their time and talents.

This day of service has become quite an event. The question: can it become more than an event? Can it become a way of life?

Everywhere you looked... there were signs of service.

 At this table, volunteers made hats and scarves for the homeless.

 Over here, adults made identification badges to help children if they get lost.

 And over there, kids were building birdhouses-- the final touch when Habitat for Humanity hands their clients keys to a new home...

And everyone you talked to, volunteers gave you the sense that when they served others, they got something special in return.

"I love giving back and I love seeing smiles on their faces when I do something to bless them and their families."

Elected officials were on hand for an event that has grown in size and significance in 21 years.

Each carried a message that public service must not be limited to the Martin Luther King holiday.

"We might celebrate this idea on the one day every year that is a special day, but this is actually something that we ought to be doing every single day of the year."

The founder and director of the Philadelphia King Day of Service agrees.

 Todd Bernstein knows this event accomplishes little if he doesn't push volunteers to make a bigger commitment to their community.

"People need to be asked to serve.  They won't  just 'appear.'"

 With that in mind, this event includes a Civic Engagement Expo- at which service groups can sign up those who want to help, for year 'round assistance.

"So what we're hoping is that people who are volunteering today will be inspired enough to learn more about other organizations and volunteer their time to help beyond King Day."

 

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