Happy Birthday Dr. King
(I remembered seeing this photo a while ago, but it took me a while to track it down. I hope that we can all appreciate the juxtaposition of the sign behind Dr. King, on which you can see the words 'Why We Can't', in light of tomorrow when our country will revel in the words, 'Yes We Can'.)
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and join our neighbors and friends for the MLK Day of Service. In honoring the late Dr. King and President-elect Obama’s call to service, I saw the residents of Illinois come together to serve their community.
While January 19 is designated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and is rightfully celebrated as a federal holiday, we are reminded to ‘make it a day on, not a day off.’ I am personally thankful for the success of my 7th Annual Helping Hands Campaign, during which almost two dozen community groups and businesses came together to collect clothing and toiletries for people in need.
During the winter season when many in need are most directly affected, our neighborhood came together to provide new hats, gloves, scarves, toys and many other essentials for the less fortunate. Each year, the donations increase and even in these difficult economic times, the generosity shown through community assistance is heartwarming.
I join President-elect Barack Obama in asking all Americans to not only serve today, but to also make a commitment to volunteer year-round. Tomorrow, almost two years after starting a campaign based on hope, change and the desire to restore faith in government, Barack Obama will be sworn in and assume the Presidency of the United States. These principles will guide him though the next four years.
I hope you will join me in continuing the spirit of change and challenge you to get involved in your local community by volunteering at a local food bank, being a mentor for a young adult or making a donation to a neighborhood organization.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”