”EVERYBODY can be great because everybody can SERVE”—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Parade Foundation, Inc. has established the Martin Luther King Year of Service Program. This program is designed to actively promote service to the community as a year-round activity in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. King. The Parade Foundation will leverage existing partnerships with Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County Schools, and many of the community groups, businesses, churches and social organizations that are parade participants to accomplish the goals of the program.

In the month of January, many service-oriented organizations ramp up their efforts around the celebrated holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., following a national imperative of a “Day of Service”. This program will extend the energy surrounding the Day of Service to every month of the year, facilitating another organized opportunity to serve, guided by the organizations already touching lives in many different areas.

A particular desire for this program will be the involvement of high school children attending Hillsborough County-based schools. Many school children are involved in various service projects at different times during the school year but there are few coordinated efforts involving other service-minded organizations at the same time. The Foundation’s goal is to match existing community service efforts undertaken by various social and service organizations in the Tampa Bay Area with the efforts of school age children, to not only strengthen the service efforts of these community organizations, but give the children an appreciation for service as a life-long activity undertaken by adults, not just a resume or college application enhancement.

Service projects will be organized through a Service Project Coordinator who will work closely with organizations that are parade participants, and work with volunteer teams from businesses and/ or students from the school district, all of whom often participate in service projects to add to their community service hour commitments.

Each month of the year the Foundation will document the “who”, “what”, “when” and “where” of each project and participants will be honored at a “gala”, to take place immediately before the parade, recognizing them for their service and commitment.

Dr. King devoted his life to serving others, and his message transcends all borders. By lifting up our children and organizations through education and service we honor Dr. King’s memory and reaffirm our common humanity.


Year of Service Volunteer

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