WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Capitals defensemen John Erskine
and Bryan Muir participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15. Erskine and Muir, who are both currently injured and not traveling with the team, joined 300 volunteers from Greater DC Cares at Hine Junior High School in Southeast Washington, D.C.
Muir helped kick off the event by speaking in the opening ceremony along with Greater DC Cares president and CEO Siobhan Canty, Hine principal Willie Jackson and newly elected D.C. Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells. Muir thanked the volunteers for their help, explained why it was important for the Caps to be involved and motivated the group for the day of work ahead of them. Erskine and Muir then joined a group of teenagers who were in town from Nashville, and they gave the teacher’s prep room walls a fresh coat of paint.
“I was happy to donate my time today,” said Muir. “We pride ourselves as a team that always gives back to our community, and I’m thrilled to be able to help out. It’s great to see so many volunteers lending their support today, and I think this is a wonderful way to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.”
Muir served as the project manager for his group, assuring his team that he was highly qualified as his first job was as a painter. He delegated jobs, showed volunteers proper techniques and oversaw the set-up, painting and clean up of the classroom. By the time Erskine and Muir left, the teacher’s prep room was complete – looking newer and brighter than before.
In 1994 Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action. The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers that have divided us in the past, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships and is an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for your ongoing work.
Participation in the King Day of Service has grown steadily during the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of Americans each year engaging in projects such as tutoring and mentoring children, painting schools and senior centers, delivering meals, building homes and reflecting on Dr. King’s life and teachings. Many of the projects started on King Day continue to engage volunteers beyond the holiday and impact the community year-round.