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Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

MLK Day 2015 Food volunteers

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,

“Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

Each year, the University of Washington in partnership with United Way of King County hosts the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service: an event that places nearly two thousand volunteers in day-long service projects throughout King County, providing vital people-power to organizations that support our county’s most vulnerable populations.

Celebrate the on-going legacy of Dr. King by taking advantage of the national holiday to serve!

This event is part of the United We Serve initiative, which calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our nations most pressing problems.

How can I participate as a volunteer?

Registration for service projects will open in early December!

There are two ways to volunteer during MLK Day service. You can sign up through United Way of King County’s website to be a project leader and recruit a team or you can sign up for a public project.

Public Projects: If you are looking to register as an individual volunteer, you will need to select from one of the projects labeled “Public Project”. These projects already have a Volunteer Project Leader assigned and are open to the general public to join. Simply click the “register” link for the project you want to join and follow the prompts.

Project Leaders: Your leadership is key to this event’s success! If you are interested in signing up to be a Volunteer Project Leader, review the instructions and then select a project from the list on the registration site. Once you register, you will have the option of keeping your project private and recruiting your own friends, family, or colleagues to volunteer OR making your project public so that anyone can join!

How can my organization host volunteers?

Your organization can be part of this event by listing your MLK Day volunteer projects with United Way! To learn how to submit a project and recruit volunteers please visit You will most likely need to create an account for your organization if you don’t have one already. You can create an account online or contact volunteers@uwkc.og with questions.

A few things you should know about the MLK Day of Service through UWKC…
•       Projects should take place on the Monday of MLK day and last 3-6 hours. Projects over the weekend prior to MLK day are also welcome!
•       Projects must take place in King County.
•       To submit a project, you must be a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, school, park or community group.
•       Project hosts (that’s you!) must be able to provide all necessary supplies for the project.
•       Indoor and family-friendly projects are strongly encouraged (though all projects are welcome). Projects that include an element of social justice or address racial disparities (for example: projects supporting under served populations or sharing information on your target populations with volunteers and/or ending your project with a reflection) are also encouraged.
•       Projects should start no earlier than 9:00 a.m.
•       Deadline to submit projects is usually the 2nd week of November. We’re featuring MLK Day of Service in our November e-newsletter, so your projects will get a lot of eyes that day!
•       United Way will be working hard to promote this event, but cannot guarantee that all projects will be selected by a volunteer group.

For each project you submit, United Way of King County will then work to engage community resources to fulfill your service opportunity. You will be notified when volunteers join your project.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Check out photos from previous years

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