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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong believer in service to others and to our nation. That is why every January, in honor of his birthday, hundreds of thousands of Americans come together for a National Day of Service to recognize Dr. King’s life and legacy.
As public servants, Federal employees already know the power of working for others. The MLK Day of Service gives us an opportunity to come together with family, friends, and neighbors to give something back to our communities and to those less fortunate than we are.
Every day, I see firsthand the incredible generosity of Federal employees. Every summer, they give hundreds of thousands of pounds of canned goods and other non-perishable items to food pantries at times when it’s needed most. And they donate millions of dollars to charities through the annual Combined Federal Campaign. So I know service to others is hardly a difficult sell to our Federal family.
That is why I hope many of you will find some way to volunteer in your community on Monday, January 19. Visit www.mlkday.gov to find a project that interests you or to promote your own. Opportunities in communities all across the country range from tutoring students and mentoring at-risk youth to working to protect the environment to assisting veterans and the military. I know that everyone can find a service project that matches his or her interests, time, and abilities.
By putting the core American principles of citizenship and service into action and by addressing local challenges, together we can help make our country a better place.
I hope that the MLK Day of Service can be the spark that leads people to get involved in their communities all year long. During the past year, more than 1-in-4 Americans did volunteer work. Altogether, 62.6 million Americans gave nearly 7.7 billion hours of their time, which represented an estimated economic value of $173 billion. That’s incredibly powerful. Become a part of that movement. Take the MLK Day Challenge and pledge to serve not only one day, but throughout the entire year by visiting www.serve.gov.
“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve,” Dr. King said of the value of giving back. Help us to continue to celebrate that legacy. Even one day of community service can make a difference.
Enjoy your day!
Today we take a moment to step away from our busy lives to remember the life and sacrifices of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a day for the nation to honor the legacy and spirit of this civil rights giant.
In his proclamation designating Jan. 20 as the MLK Federal holiday, President Obama urges Americans to come together for a day of service.
“By volunteering our time and energy, we can build stronger, healthier, more resilient communities. Today, let us put aside our narrow ambitions, lift up one another, and march a little closer to the Nation Dr. King envisioned,” the president said in his proclamation.
I hope all Federal employees, each in our own way, will celebrate Dr. King’s life through an act of service to neighbors, friends and people in their communities who are in need of a helping hand. This is what Federal workers do: serve the people of this great country.
Enjoy this holiday. And make it a “day on” not just a day off.
As we work on fulfilling our personal New Year’s resolutions, it was good to hear from Federal workers across the government about what their hopes and expectations are for OPM in 2014.
Let me tell you about some of my priorities for the coming year and share one of your colleague’s stories that epitomizes the dedication and compassion of our Federal workforce.
2014 is going to be an exciting year at OPM. We have a dynamic new strategic plan in the works and our 100-day plan to modernize our IT systems is well underway.
This will also be a year that we champion the Federal workforce. As I travel around the country visiting Federal workers, I will be listening to them and sharing their accomplishments, their vision and their commitment to their communities and their country.
One of you has given me a perfect example.
In answering my call to share New Year’s resolutions, John Lee, an OPM colleague who works at our Boyers, Pa. facility, suggested that we all get more involved in the community, in helping our fellow citizens in need. John and some of his colleagues did more than just talk about such service; they embodied it over the Christmas holiday. Here’s John’s post:
In his memorandum six months ago on expanding national service, the President called on all Federal agencies to promote national service and volunteerism across the Federal government.
Employees like John and his colleagues embody that call. My thanks to the Boyers team for their service and thanks to John for sharing.
I appreciate all the responses to our call for New Year’s resolutions. Please keep your feedback coming. We want to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter or via email.
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