Volunteer Fairfax Mobilizes Hundreds for

Weekend of Service 2024 benefits those in need and bolsters volunteerism.

Since 1974, Volunteer Fairfax has been amplifying community impact by connecting and mobilizing people and resources to build capacity for stronger communities.

During the first of its two annual 2024 region-wide days of service, the MLK Weekend of Service, the nonprofit sought to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a "beloved community." Through volunteerism, projects aimed to empower individuals, build bridges of understanding, and address social problems. Working with the Fairfax County government and other stakeholders, Volunteer Fairfax intentionally considers inclusion, equity, and diversity in delivering community programs and services. 

Volunteer Fairfax began with a Community Conversation on Racial Equity via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Natasha A. Harrison moderated the discussion, titled "So You Think You Know Racial Equity: Practices and Competencies to Build Stamina and Strength." Volunteer Fairfax spokesperson Tammy Deem said they will post the recorded webinar online after editing it.

On Jan. 15, Volunteer Fairfax convened a “Give Together.” The massive program brought together children, teenagers and college-aged students from across the county to participate in service projects.

"We had over 700 volunteers registered for the day's event who [each] contributed approximately Teen helper Nico Torres-Padilla, 17, of Fort Belvoir, makes power packs for Food for Others. Volunteers put together 500 power packs of food to distribute. seven hours of service that supported 13 agencies," Deem said.

The activities aided the organization's mission and promoted the National Day of Service as a "day on, not a day off." Families, even those with very young children, took part, and some teen and college-aged volunteers helped the younger children finish the projects. They addressed food insecurity, elder care, emergency response, environmental stewardship and animal welfare concerns.


Volunteer Fairfax collaborated with the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Response, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, Capital Caring Health, Kids Give Back, Computer Core, the Pozez Jewish Community Center, and the Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

Deem said, "Today's Give Together event helps our teens and youth learn the importance of volunteerism and civic engagement, contributing to their ability to become engaged members of their community.”

To volunteer or donate with Volunteer Fairfax, go to https://www.cfp-dc.org/nonprofits/1442/Volunteer-Fairfax/.

It will be sixty-one years since Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the National Mall in front of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marching for freedom, justice, and equality and delivered his “I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963. It will be 56 years this year since King was assassinated on April 1, 1968.

King’s legacy continues in Fairfax County. The Connection compiled photographs of events in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."  

Read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”