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Monday, January 21, 2008

King Holiday and Service Act

Guy Djoken

In 1994 Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate Dr. King's legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action.

The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers that have divided us in the past, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships, and is an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for ongoing work.In efforts to commemorate that day of service and honor Dr. King's commitment to community.

Last year, on January 15th, 2007, under the leadership of Sharida D. Gaines, Vista volunteer from CALM, Inc., The Frederick County Community Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center partnered with the Frederick County NAACP, UNESCO Center for Peace and the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County to present the Frederick County's 1st Annual Dr. King Day of Service Event

This year, the NAACP is calling for other local groups and organization to join the coalition as we gear up for this second edition scheduled for Monday, January 21st, 2008. The Day will start by gathering elected officials and all participants at Frederick City Youth Center located at 413 Burck St. for an official kick-off of the festivities from 9:00 to 10 AM. The event is titled "A Day on and Not A Day Off," meaning that we will be conducting service related projects throughout Frederick County to assist those organizations in the community that provide services to those in need.

During the earlier part of the day we will be conducting service projects at two locations. Volunteers will be assisting with clean-up, removal of fencing and debris, processing donations and other various tasks. Volunteer Frederick is planning a MLK, Jr. Day Service Fair from 11 to 3pm. For more information, contact

Later today, the 17th annual MLK dinner will be held at the Evangelical Reform United Church of Christ at 5 p.m. After dinner, the group usually discusses Dr. King's message as it relates to today's events. The Mount St. Mary's University Center for Intercultural Development, the MLK 2008 Planning Committee and the Frederick County NAACP will also be hosting the "Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Conversation" at the O'Hara Dining Room (Patriot Hall)- Mount St. Mary's University from 6 to 8pm. For information, please contact nixon@msmary.

I encourage you to attend these free events.

Guy Djoken is President, NAACP Frederick County, Maryland Branch

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