MLK National Day of Service (copy)

Volunteers work on grounds at the Ninth District field office in preparation for Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service in 2016.

While many will be enjoying a three-day weekend coming up, some will be serving.

It's a "Day On, not a Day Off" for those involved with the 2018 Martin Luther King Day of Service Monday, Jan. 15, throughout the city. Leadership Long Beach (LLB), Port of Long Beach, Mayor Robert Garcia's office, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson's office, and many others teamed up to have the day. Volunteers will do so to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The day kicks off with a rally at 8 a.m., with speakers and a pancake breakfast near Houghton Park, 6335 Myrtle Ave. People then will spread out to their projects throughout the city, with most complete by 12:30 p.m.

It's the eighth year Long Beach has participated in the nationwide event, according to LLB executive director Jeff Williams said. This year, he said nine projects would be worked on. 

"It's an opportunity for community members to get out and serve," Williams said. 

Most projects are family-friendly and for all ages. People should wear appropriate clothing for the service and weather. Most tools and materials wil be supplied at sites, but people should bring their own reusable water bottle and prepare for mostly physical, outdoor activities.

Projects include those with the Volunteer Center South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach, city of Long Beach, Long Beach Firefighters Association, Our Foods, Ricardo’s Nursery, Grant Neighborhood Association and Hamilton Neighborhood Association. Activities include urban garden upgrading/fence repair, freeway underpass refurbishment, garden planting/cleanup, and more. 

Last year, Williams said about 250 people served with the seven projects. Projects have included tree planting, fruit harvesting, nature trail clean-ups, and trash/debris removal.

He said he expects more people this year because more opportunities are available. 

"All are welcome," he said. "It's like Dr. King said, 'Anyone can be great because everyone can serve.' People can just show up and help. it should be a great day. People can honor Dr. King with a day of service."

For more information, visit, call (562) 997-9194 or email

Emily Thornton can be reached at

Emily is a staff writer covering higher education and other various topics for Gazette Newspapers. She has a background in weekly and daily newspapers and a bachelor’s in communication from La Sierra University.

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