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Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day of Service

#MLKDay     #TheArcServes

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Build the Beloved Community in 2024!

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What is the MLK Day of Service?


After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 making the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 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, now AmericCorps, with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a National Day of Service - a "day on, not a day off." The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of of a "Beloved Community".

The Arc of South Carolina is honored to be a recipient of a grant offered by The Arc of the United States and funded by AmeriCorps in order to organize service projects where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) will volunteer alongside people without disabilities to help provide food to people in their communities who are in need.

As part of this grant, we hosted a fun event on MLK Jr. Day 2017 on the University of South Carolina campus. The UofSC Best Buddies organization ran a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich-Making Competition on campus for all students to take part in! Not only did students who participated have a chance to win prizes for their efforts, but they also got to make a difference in the lives of individuals in our community who are experiencing food insecurity. The PB&J's were distributed at a local soup kitchen because many hunger-focused organizations were closed to observe the holiday.

On MLK Day 2020, volunteers made over 4,600 PB&J's that were donated to hunger-focused organizations across the Midlands.

We continue to work to end hunger in our community by coordinating inclusive volunteer opportunities. If you have a disability and want to serve others in the community, we would love to coordinate service opportunities for you at a local soup kitchen, where you will get to work with other volunteers to prepare food that is served to those experiencing hunger and homelessness.

Photos from previous competitions can be found here and on our Gallery page.

Click through the gallery to view photos from MLK Day 2022

If you have any questions or would like more information about volunteering, contact us at or call us at (803) 748-5020.

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