News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 01/07/2011
Subject :

Mayor Announces Palo Alto Day of Community Service to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.
Contact : Rob de Geus, Division Manager, Recreation Services    650-463-4908
Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto's Mayor Sid Espinosa invites families and individuals from across the city to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by participating in a fun and important day of community service on Monday, January 17.

"This is going to be an exciting day for Palo Alto and the broader community. We’re encouraging everyone to get out there and do a service project during the holiday weekend," said Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa. “There’s something for everyone, so I hope to see a great mix of individuals, families, students, teachers, seniors, non-profits, service organizations, faith-based groups, and members of the business community join me in volunteering on this day of service.”

To help families and individuals get involved in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, here is a list of local community-service efforts planned for Monday January 17:

Community Service on Lytton Plaza - The City of Palo Alto in collaboration with Youth Community Service (YCS) will provide opportunities to donate food for Second Harvest Food Bank, drop off coats for One Warm Coat project and to participate in a volunteer project on Lytton Plaza (Emerson Street at University Avenue). Kiwanis will also be on the plaza signing up volunteers for future service projects. There will be music and fun for all – and more importantly, this will be a chance to do something to help others. To get involved, come to Lytton Plaza on Monday January 17 between noon and 3 PM. 

Sign-up for a Community Service Project - The Palo Alto Jewish Community Center is organizing a day of service in Palo Alto on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (MLK Day). More than 25 local volunteer opportunities will be available at this event, with activities ranging from habitat restoration, making cat toys and dog biscuits for homeless pets, visiting senior citizens, serving meals at a shelter, working on crafts for hospitalized children and helping with the creation of a library in Botswana. To get involved or “register” in advance, visit

“If folks are interested in working on an environmental project, they can plug into activities with Save the Bay in Hayward or Acterra at the City’s Arastradero Preserve,” explained Greg Betts, Director of the Community Services Department of City of Palo Alto. “For a one-stop way to find a variety of service opportunities for January 17, check out the volunteer website compiled by the Jewish Community Center.” 

Participating in organized events like Martin Luther King Day of Service or Mitzvah Day (A mitzvah can be loosely defined as "good deed.") is a great way to get started and learn about ongoing ways to serve and build connections in local communities. For additional ideas for ways to serve, either on Monday January 17, or in the future, visit

For more information about the MLK Day of Service, visit or to connect with this and other activities, go to the City’s Facebook page at

About the MLK Day of Service
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is believed to have once said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. 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.

January 17, 2011 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr., federal holiday. This milestone is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. 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 a beloved community. Explore this site to learn more about MLK Day and how you can participate.