Peace Corps Commemorates National Day of Service, Works Together to Make a Difference


Washington, D.C.  – The Peace Corps will join Americans across the country in the nation's largest day of service, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service.  This year, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coincides with the 57th Presidential Inauguration, and the Peace Corps community will be giving back by volunteering at local community service events and participating in the National Day of Service Fair in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

"Dr. King believed that lasting achievements in life came through sacrifice and service, and at Peace Corps we know that his message transcends borders,” said Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Peace Corps volunteers in the field work to make a difference in their communities through service every day, and they continue this legacy when they return home. I encourage everyone in the Peace Corps community to take an active role on the National Day of Service.”

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet will volunteer at Food and Friends in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Food and Friends fosters a community of caring for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries, and providing nutrition counseling. Peace Corps staff in the Washington area will volunteer at Food and Friends and the Capital Area Food Bank.

Representatives from Peace Corps will participate in the National Day of Service Fair on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which will showcase approximately 100 charitable and community service groups, as well as speakers and musical performances. The Peace Corps booth will be located in the Health tent and will feature information about Peace Corps, including what volunteers in the field do to make a difference in their communities overseas and how to become a Peace Corps volunteer.

Peace Corps staff prepare dinner at a Washington, D.C., food kitchen

The National Day of Service Fair will open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The fair is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is encouraged. To register, visit

Since the creation of the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, volunteers have heeded the call to serve both overseas and in the United States. Today, Peace Corps volunteers make a difference in communities overseas by engaging in sustainable projects at the grassroots level in six sectors: education, youth in development, community economic development, health, agriculture and environment.

 When volunteers come back to the U.S., they return with a strengthened call to serve their communities at home and share their skills and experience with friends, family and neighbors. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the National Day of Service shine a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge geographic, economic and social divides – today and throughout the year.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit for more information.

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