In 1994 President Bill Clinton signed legislation creating the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday and Service Act, establishing the King holiday in January as a national day of service. The Willamette community honors this day annually with Into the Streets, a program that provides multiple volunteer opportunities throughout Salem and allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to actively serve together and learn through action.
This January, about 170 people participated at 15 sites, including a group of students from the Willamette Academy college preparatory program. Volunteers removed weeds and other plant debris at Bush’s Pasture Park, worked in a garden at Marion-Polk Food Share and painted a hallway at Grant Community School, among other activities.
Other service sites included Historic Deepwood Estate, Evergreen Presbyterian Church, Judson Middle School, Highland Elementary School, Salem Outreach Shelter, Union Gospel Mission, Willamette Valley Hospice, Family Building Blocks, Jason Lee United Methodist Retirement Center, Easter Seals Disability Services, Catholic Community Services and Oregon PeaceWorks.