FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2008
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG KICKS OFF FIFTH ANNUAL DAY OF PUBLIC SERVICE IN HONOR OF MLK DAY
Mayor's Volunteer Center and City Year New York Corps Members Lead over 1,000 Volunteers in "A Day On, Not a Day Off"
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today kicked off MLK Service Day 2008, an annual event that highlights public service and community engagement in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at Long Island City High School in Queens. Organized by the Mayor's Volunteer Center and City Year New York Now, the event, titled "Share the Dream, Live the Reality," brought together over 1,000 people from all five boroughs for a day of public service that included mural painting and the revitalization of school classrooms, community centers and public spaces. The Mayor was joined by the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Nazli Parvizi, Department of Education Chief Family Engagement Officer Martine Guerrier, City Year New York Executive Director Itai Dinour, Bank of America New York President Alan Rappaport and Principal of Long Island City High School, William Bassell.
"Days of service are not only important to remember and honor a hero like Dr. King, but also to celebrate the everyday heroes right here in New York that volunteer all year round," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We are thrilled to be able to provide opportunities like this every year for those who believe that actions are louder than words when it comes to service."
"We are delighted to be a partner with City Year on this day that not only commemorates a great man, but also puts into practice Dr. King's beliefs in creating a beloved community," said Commissioner Parvizi. "This annual event not only unites people across all lines, it brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal of making every New Yorker a volunteer."
Volunteers from the public and private sector who participated in today's events included 180 City Year New York AmeriCorps members and 500 corporate, community and civic leaders. The volunteers provided fresh coats of paint in school hallways, painted murals, built planter boxes and constructed bookshelves in four locations throughout Long Island City.
The day also kicked off City Year's Young Heroes program, which engages middle school students in over 100 hours of community service on Saturdays from January to June. This year, 250 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders from the Bronx, East Harlem and Long Island City will be sworn in as Young Heroes, as they begin 15-weeks of community service and service learning on Saturdays. Powered by a $1 million sponsorship from Bank of America, City Year's Young Heroes national program is set to launch its 13th year of introducing school-age youth from across the country to local citizen service programs.
"Dr. King believed in the power of service to unite diverse groups of people to make a difference," said City Year New York Executive Director Itai Dinour. "We are extremely proud of our corps members bringing this message into practice and partnering with the Mayor's Office to mobilize New Yorkers of all ages into service."
About City Year
About the Mayor's Volunteer Center of New York City
Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly (212) 788-2958
Teresa Gonzalez (Community Affairs Unit)
David Andrako (City Year) (646) 897-0881