Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day embodies the spirit of dreaming for change and working for justice. It is a national holiday that marks the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement. MLK Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later in 1986. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Now referred to commonly as The MLK Day of Service, it is part of President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative called United We Serve. This has transformed this national holiday into a citizen day of service, where we can work together to meet the needs and seek solutions to the most pressing problems of our communities.

Service is a part of the culture at Liberty Lutheran. In fact, it’s why we exist. On a daily basis, staff and volunteers within The Liberty Family of Services are creating communities and changing lives by offering help and support to people of all ages throughout Eastern Pennsylvania.

“Serving others is a privilege. People at Liberty come from a variety of backgrounds. The individuals in this community are actually doing me a favor by giving me an opportunity to do something precious and meaningful in life,” said Rabbi Anne Feibelman, Paul’s Run Retirement Community, a service of Liberty Lutheran. “At Liberty, I am grateful every day for the residents and staff who take time to open their hearts to me and allow me to serve,” she added.

This past year alone, the Liberty team served more than 61,000 individuals, each faced with life-changing situations. These individualized services include independent and personal care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice care, in-home supports, wellness services, children and family services, integration services for immigrants and political refugees and disaster response.

“Throughout my life, I have volunteered to the community. I found it rewarding and important as it united folks together to work as a team towards a common goal,” reflected Nancy Twomey, Liberty Lutheran’s Director of Contract Management. “The mental rewards were awesome to help others in need. It was my opportunity to ‘give back’ to the community. I try to instill volunteerism ideals in my daughter, and hope that someday she continues ‘give back’ to her future community.”

There are many opportunities to serve year round through the Liberty Family of Services, including spending time with seniors, young people, immigrants, and many others. Click here for more information about volunteering with our organization.

“Service opportunities provide the chance to be a community servant, to respectfully ask one another, ‘how can I help?’ And when volunteers come back from an experience, they realize that service is as much about receiving as it is giving,” said Julia Menzo, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Liberty Lutheran.

Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King. Liberty Lutheran encourages staff and others to participate in any way they can. Click here for information on how you can volunteer on MLK Day – January 20, 2014.