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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

The President and First Lady, Cabinet Secretaries, and Senior Administration Officials Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

WASHINGTON, DC – To honor the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service and Dr. King’s life and legacy, the President and First Lady, Cabinet Secretaries, and other Senior Administration Officials participated in community service projects and events.  The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is an opportunity for all Americans to honor Dr. King by coming together to help meet the needs of their communities and re-commit to service throughout the year.

The President and First Lady participated in a community service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, D.C. in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and in honor of Dr. King's life and legacy. The President and First Lady were joined by White House mentees as well as members of AmeriCorps in volunteering with students at Leckie, a high proportion of whom come from military families. They were also joined by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program and leads the MLK National Day of Service.

In celebration of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, the President and First Lady assembled a garden bed, planted vegetable seeds and packed bags with books for those in need, including a copy of Dr. Seuss's "Oh the Things You Can Do that are Good for You!,” updated and re-released last year.

Also today, Cabinet Members and Senior Administration Officials participated in Day of Service events in the Washington, D.C. area and in cities around the country.  Events included the following:

  •          Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew served alongside City Year AmeriCorps members in Long Island City, New York.  Service projects included painting murals, collecting and sorting food and clothing items, and constructing bookshelves for use at the school.
  •          Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch served alongside GW students, Jumpstart AmeriCorps members, and staff at Hart Middle School assisting in a school beautification project promoting literacy within the school community. Attorney General Lynch also delivered remarks during the National Action Network’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.   
  •          Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and staff served alongside AmeriCorps members at the Student Conservation Association’s annual King Day cleanup of Anacostia Park.
  •          Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack served alongside AmeriCorps members packing meals in Pella, Iowa.
  •          Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Department of Commerce Under Secretary of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee served alongside City Year AmeriCorps members at one of three local schools in Southeast D.C. to assist in beautification projects that included painting, library organizing, and clean up.
  •          Acting Secretary of Education John King Jr. served at the Capital Area Food Bank to assist volunteers with packing and sorting donated food. Acting Secretary of Education King also delivered remarks at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Annual Breakfast.
  •          Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Melissa Rogers served breakfast and helped prepare meals at Miriam’s Kitchen.
  •          U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power served alongside AmeriCorps members at an anti-hunger event in New York City.
  •          Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet served at the University of Maryland at a project helping 300 area nonprofits acquire a range of business skills and develop a business plan to advance their mission.
  •          Director of the Peace Corps Carrie Hessler-Radelet served alongside Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar, Africa to help plant trees in a community that has hosted Peace Corps volunteers for 20 years.
  •          U.S. Health and Human Services Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield and staff served at DC Central Kitchen alongside graduates of the DC Central Kitchen Culinary Job Training Program, to prepare the 5,000 meals that are delivered every day to DC’s shelters, transitional homes, halfway houses and other social service agencies in the DMV.
  •          Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews served alongside more than 3,000 volunteers in Montgomery County to participate in community service projects that help individuals, children, and families in the county, as well as international organizations serving those in need.
  •          Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs with the White House Domestic Policy Council Doug O’Brien, Director of AmeriCorps VISTA Max Finberg, and Department of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach Lucy Johnson served at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg, VA. They parcked meals for residents in Shenandoah County.
  •          AmeriCorps Director Bill Basl joined Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, U.S. Congressman Charles Boustany, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, and AmeriCorps members and alums serving with Rebuilding Together to repair homes for homeowners in need.
  •          Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science and Energy Dr. Frankly Orr, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Office of Science and Technology Policy senior officials served alongside AmeriCorps members in Baltimore, MD at the Baltimore Solar Energy Install and Challenge installing solar panels on a house in the Morgan Community Mile neighborhood, and installed energy and water conservation equipment on a number of homes in North and West Baltimore.
  •          Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Jay Williams delivered the keynote address at the New Braunfels MLK Association, Inc.’s Inaugural MLK March in New Braunfels, Texas. The organization’s mission is to improve the quality of life through education and inspiration, by organizing an annual march in New Braunfels for the purpose of honoring the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.                               
  •          Staff from the Department of Veterans Affairs coordinated a special event at the D.C. VA Medical Center’s Fisher House, a home for families of Veterans in need of long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  •          Staff from the United States Agency for International Development served at the Montgomery Avenue Women’s Center, an organization that provides food, clothing and shelter to homeless women in Maryland.
  •          Staff from the Millennium Challenge Corporation served at the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project cleaning and organizing play spaces for children living at family shelters and transitional housing programs to nurture healthy child development.

For more on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, please visit the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) at