This year's Day of Service

Turner Pride, 4-H Agent, Vance County
Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:22 AM

On Jan.21, the Vance County 4-H Livestock Club, partnering with the Kittrell Job Corps Center, sponsored a community service event to mark the celebration of the MLK Day of Service.

In 1994, the U.S. Congress designated the MLK holiday as a national day of service and the Corporation for National and Community Service was charged with leading the national service day efforts. Using the moniker, “a day on, not a day off,” this holiday calls for all Americans to work together to perform acts of service aimed at solving some of our nations biggest issues. Individuals are empowered to strengthen their communities, create solutions to social issues and pull people closer together. The overall idea is to move toward Dr. King’s dream of a “beloved community.”

The “beloved community” is built through citizens engaging in nonviolent practices to help America reach its full potential as a country and make it an overall better place to live. According to, the idea behind the MLK Day of Service is to bridge the gap between his words and teachings into various forms of social action. There is no specific way that you may serve but the intent is to meet some sort of need in the community, whether that is something tangible or spiritual. On this day around the country each year Americans of all ages celebrate by engaging in a service activity to enrich their environment.

To celebrate this year’s holiday, the Vance County 4-H Livestock Club and the Kittrell Job Corps cleaned the trash on Peter Gill Road in Henderson. The 4-H Livestock Club sponsors this road through the Adopt-A-Highway program and the road has been maintained by the club for years. Among those participating were myself, Kittrell Job Corps Center student Jamal Brown, Vance County 4-H volunteer and Livestock Club leader Carol Edwards, 4-H Livestock Club member Lauren Edwards, Kittrell Job Corps Center student Raheem White and Kittrell Job Corps Center Business Community Liaison Joan Robinson. We spent a few hours cleaning the roadside as a way to give back by continuing to keep Vance County beautiful.

As another year passes, keep in mind that giving back does not take a special holiday. With the commitment and dedication of all American citizens we can continue to make our country great.