Volunteers work January 17, 2017, at City Year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event at Theodore Roosevelt High School. Below are several opportunities to take part in this year’s event. (City Year)

Each year, on the third Monday of January, the country honors the accomplishments of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a day of service for Americans to bridge barriers and give back to their communities. Here are several events around Washington that honor King’s message of service. Get inspired from these activities, and contact your local animal shelter or community organization for ways to give back the rest of the year.

District of Columbia

Anacostia Park cleanup

One of the best ways to take care of our communities is to take care of our parks. Get some fresh air and help clean up Anacostia Park in Washington. Breakfast, gloves and tools will be provided.

Where: Anacostia Park Skating Pavilion, 1500 Anacostia Drive in Southeast Washington.

When: January 21, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Register: A parent can sign you up at ­thesca.org/mlkday.

For more information: Visit the Student Conservation Association website, above, or call 703-842-4240.

MLK Day of Service with City Year

Learn new skills while making a difference at City Year’s MLK event. This year, the organization focuses on beautifying the historic Deanwood neighborhood in Northeast Washington. Projects will include painting murals and light construction.

Where: Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, 4800 Meade Street in Northeast Washington.

When: January 21. Check-in is at 8 a.m. Event ends at 1 p.m.

Register: Have a parent sign you up at cityyear.org/washington-dc/events or email cydcevents@gmail.com.

For more information: Go to­
cityyear.org or call 202-742-7398.

A young volunteer holds a discarded can from a MLK Day cleanup event last year with Rock Creek Conservancy. (Rock Creek Conservancy)


MLK Day of Service Cleanup

Volunteer with the Rock Creek Conservancy and Montgomery Parks to pick up trash at a handful of sites in Montgomery County and the District. Most of the trash is near the water, so waterproof boots and weather-appropriate clothing are suggested.

Where: Randolph Hills Local Park at 11805 Ashley Drive, Silver Spring. Other locations available at registration.

When: January 21. 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Register: Have a parent go to rockcreek

For more information: Contact John Maleri at jmaleri@rockcreek
or call 301-579-3105.

Groups create Valetine’s Day cards for foster students at Volunteer Fairfax’s MLK Day event in 2018. (Volunteer Fairfax)


'Valentine's Challenge' with Volunteer Fairfax

Give back by making care packages and cards for foster youths in Virginia high schools and colleges. The event plans to make 2,500 Valentine’s Day cards for foster kids. You are free to bring additional stickers to include on cards.

Where: Fairfax Volunteer Fire Department, Station 3, Williams Hall, 4081 University Drive, Fairfax.

When: January 19. Shifts, 9 a.m. to noon or 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Register: A parent can sign you up at volunteerfairfax.org.

For more information: Contact Kim Luckabaugh at kluckabaugh@volunteer
or call 703-246-3460.