MLK Day of Service is a federal holiday dedicated to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in honor of his legacy and passion for serving others.

Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a "day on, not a day off." MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."

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HandsOn Projects

ECO: Food Cycle Team

Help run the Solana Center's Food Cycle Program, turning food waste into a high-quality soil supplement, and closing the loop of organic waste! Volunteers help process and tabulate incoming organic material, maintain compost piles, and prep buckets to be returned to program members for more collection. This project is great for those that are not sensitive to the "ick" factor and want to get VERY hands on with waste reduction! The Food Cycle Program is a co-op where San Diego County residents and small businesses preserve their organic waste using the Bokashi method and then deliver it to Solana Center to be turned into a nutritious soil amendment that is distributed back into the community. This process reduces tons of waste sent to the landfill, reduces methane pollution, and creates a healthy soil supplement for San Diego gardens! Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get VERY dirty. Physical Ability: This activity can be quite physically intensive and pretty messy! Must be able to wield a pitchfork, push a wheel borrow, and lift buckets of up to 30 lbs. Some accommodations can be made, please ask. About the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation ​Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on Zero Waste, composting, and water conservation. They mobilize the local community through innovative outreach and provide consulting services to businesses and jurisdictions in order to address the region’s most pressing environmental issues and enact impactful change.

Encinitas, CA

3/10/20 9:00 AM

Opportunities in the Community: 

Watershed Warriors: Fallbrook Community Cleanup
Hosted by: I Love a Clean San Diego
8:30am - 10:30am
Saturday, January 18th

Join I Love A Clean San Diego, the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance, Keeping Fallbrook Litter Free, and the County of San Diego for a litter cleanup in Fallbrook! We will pick up trash around Fallbrook’s urban core to divert waste from the Santa Margarita watershed and preserve the area’s natural beauty!

Invasive Species Removal Work Party
Hosted by:
The San Diego River Park Foundation
9:00am - 12:00pm
Saturday, January 18th
Mission Valley - San Diego

Volunteers will help to remove non-native plant species, clearing the way allowing local species to reclaim their niche creating a healthy environment for the plants and animals that call our river home.

Honoring MLK at Harriet Tubman Village Charter School
Hosted by:
Mission Continues
11:00am - 3:00pm
Saturday, January 18th
College Area - San Diego

Join The Mission Continues San Diego 2nd Service Platoon as they team up with Starbucks for another MLK Day of Service! They are excited to be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by starting off 2020 with a service project at Harriet Tubman Charter School. Volunteers will be building, painting, renovating and cleaning. Something for everyone!

Volunteer or Donate for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Hosted by:
Human Rights Campaign San Diego
11:00am - 1:00pm
Sunday, January 19th
North Park - San Diego

Join more than 150 volunteers to assemble 700-1000 care bags to be donated to LGBT homeless youth through San Diego Youth Services and other local charitable organizations. There are an estimated 12,000 homeless people in San Diego County and roughly 40% of them are LGBTQ youth.

12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Interfaith Service
Hosted by:
First United Methodist Church of San Diego
8:45AM - 12:00PM
Monday, January 20th
Balboa Park - San Diego

This remarkable event will bring together people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds for a wonderful morning of community service, fun and camaraderie. Families are encouraged to participate together in this hands-on community service day for all ages. Volunteers will be cleaning up and beautifying the Marston House grounds. 

Is your organization hosting a service opportunity for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and would like it listed? Contact us at