In the 2015 Presidential Proclamation for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday, President Obama declares, "In sermons and speeches, Dr. King's voice rang out with a call for us to work toward a better tomorrow. As we honor his legacy, Americans across the country will join one another for a day of service, picking up the baton handed to us by past generations and carrying forward their efforts." The MLK National Day of Service is an important way millions of Americans honor Dr. King's vision and continue his dream.
The staff of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Centers for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships joined the President, the First Lady, and countless others across the country in participating in community service projects. On Monday, January 19, we joined Washington Hebrew Congregation for its annual MLK Day of Service program where about 400 community members from across different faiths and backgrounds came together to put the Jewish value of tikkun olam or 'repairing the world', in to action.
There, Jewish congregants, congregants from partnering churches and mosques, and community members at large, met for a day of interfaith service. In giving back to the community, interfaith community service works to build bridges across differences. Working alongside new friends and neighbors, we packed grocery bags, chopped vegetables, sorted donated winter clothing, and made fleece blankets. The various volunteer projects to serve those in the greater DC area benefited local partner agencies like Capital Area Food Bank, Children's Inn at National Institutes of Health, DC Central Kitchen, Hypothermia Hotline, and Martha's Table, among others.
We are grateful to Washington Hebrew Congregation and all those who volunteered in their communities on MLK Day. Together, let's continue to work towards the great unfinished business of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.
Taylor Lustig is a Policy Assistant in the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.