MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

MLK Jr. Day: A Time for Service and Tributes

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Instead of taking the day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, many around the tri-state area paid tribute to the civil rights icon through events and by volunteering in their communities
  • The holiday, observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” the day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day has become synonymous with service and plenty of organization and groups around the city have set forth to pay it forward in his honor

Instead of taking the day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, many around the tri-state area paid tribute to the civil rights icon through events and by volunteering in their communities.

New York City’s largest celebration in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. kicked off Monday morning at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

It is the 34th year the academy has hosted the event. This year’s event brought together musicians, elected officials and civic leaders.

Dozens of volunteers got together in Harlem to help paint a local community center Monday, it's all part of giving back in the name of Martin Luther King Jr. Gaby Acevedo reports.

Tributes aren’t the only events taking place around the tri-state area, and the country, in order to honor King.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has become synonymous with service and plenty of organizations and groups around the city have set forth to pay it forward in his honor.

In Photos: Celebrating MLK Jr.’s Legacy Through a Day of Service

As a matter of fact, the holiday, observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” the day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service.

Food Bank For New York City hosted a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to provide food and other resources to some of the city’s most vulnerable communities.

Volunteers helped Harlem food bank on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in his spirit. Gaby Acevedo reports.

Hundreds of volunteers took part in the Food Bank’s event to prep, cook, serve and distribute 1,500 meals to the Harlem and Bronx communities. Volunteers also prepared and repacked food items to be distributed across the five boroughs.

Food Bank’s Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in West Harlem and Food Bank’s 90,000-square foot facility in the South Bronx were the locations where volunteers made the culinary magic happen.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a New Jersey group is honoring Dr. King's legacy by helping children in need. Gus Rosendale reports.

The annual Day of Service caps off a weekend of Food Bank-led volunteer projects in all five boroughs to honor king's legacy. Food was also distributed in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. 

Additionally, 14 companies, including Comcast NBCUniversal, as well as other community leaders, joined forces at P.S. 43 Jonas Bronck Elementary School in the Bronx where hundreds of volunteers – including those from WNBC -- to construct bookshelves and paint murals. (Comcast NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBCUniversal and WNBC.)

The event also brought out celebrities, including those from the professional sports realm. Such athletes were Chris Canty – former NFL player and founder of the Chris Canty Foundation -- as well as NBA Cares Ambassador Felipe Lopez.

The event was hosted by City Year, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to helping schools and students succeed.

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