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AmeriCorps members and Habitat for Humanity mark 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with community service

ATLANTA (Jan. 17, 2011) – More than 470 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members and 160 Habitat affiliates will honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy today by participating in various activities to help improve local communities.

“Dr. King was one of history’s greatest champions of justice. He taught us that everyone has a role to play in making the world a better place,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “By serving today and throughout the year, we honor Dr. King and help realize his dream of equality and opportunity for all.”

As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members traditionally join hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in making the holiday a day on, not a day off, by serving others.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and organizers see the milestone as an opportunity for Americans to remember Dr. King’s life and legacy and to honor him by taking action to solve problems in their communities. The King Day of Service encourages involvement in projects that connect participants to ongoing service throughout the year.

The following is a sample of activities that Habitat AmeriCorps members will participate in across the country to honor Dr. King:

  • Sea Island, Ga. – Habitat is hosting a large-scale MLK Day Build and plans to invite all South Carolina AmeriCorps State and VISTA members. Habitat members from East Cooper and Central South Carolina are participating in the build.
  • Hale County, Ala. – Habitat AmeriCorps members are leading a build with students from the University of Alabama.
  • Santa Fe, N.M. – Habitat AmeriCorps members and Habitat staff are working at a local homeless shelter for the 2nd year.
  • Des Moines, Iowa – Habitat AmeriCorps members are building sheds for 25 homeowners. Afterward, they will reflect on Dr. King and his legacy.
  • Spokane, Wash. – Members will hear a rendition of Rev. Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech by Rev. Percy “Happy” Watkins followed by Spokane’s Unity March. After the march, Habitat will host a table at a Community Resource Fair that includes displays by area nonprofits and service organizations.
  • Burlington County, N.J. – Habitat AmeriCorps members are partnering with Cedar Park Presbyterian Church to help repair the community social hall, which is used by community organizations.
  • Philadelphia, Pa. - Habitat AmeriCorps members are participating in the 16th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service by leading other volunteers in construction activities.
  • New York City– Habitat AmeriCorps members will help repair a NYCHA community center in Brooklyn as well as attend a formal program.

During last year’s MLK Day of Service, hundreds of thousands of Americans joined together to volunteer across the country. More than 10,000 service projects took place in all 50 states, addressing a multitude of social issues from poverty and hunger to homelessness and Haitian relief efforts.

For a full list of volunteer opportunities for the 2011 MLK Day of Service, visit Serve.gov/mlkday.

About Habitat for Humanity National Service Programs
Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members have performed more than 5 million hours of service, engaged hundreds of thousands of volunteers and helped build more than 8,500 Habitat houses throughout the United States. For information about AmeriCorps programs, visit www.habitat.org/americorps or www.americorps.gov.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages 4 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.