The town of Washington will commemorate the life, works and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by hosting a day of service, “Washington Gives,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A central gathering place for Monday’s activities will be the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, where information and a schedule of events will be offered.

Refreshments will also be offered for volunteers.

Businesses, schools and nonprofit groups, along with the town, will come together for the event to provide a daylong event filled with service-oriented activities.

The event will feature volunteer and service opportunities, yoga, kindness pledges, a collection drive for various charitable causes, trail tending, special presentations, a Pilobolus workshop and a screening of ASAP’s “I have a dream” film and more.

Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday.

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.

Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a "day on, not a day off.”

Locally, supporters of the event include the Washington Business Association, The Gunnery, The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, Steep Rock Association, ASAP!, Pilobolus, Shepaug Valley Schools, Hickory Stick Bookshop, Newbury Place, The Hen’s Nest, Washington Environmental Council, William Pitt Sotheby’s R.E., Washington Food Market, Valley Spirit Cooperative and Wellness Center, National Iron Bank and Byrde + the b Salon.

Throughout the day there will be a collection of sleeping bags for the New Milford Homeless Shelter Coalition; the sale of reusable grocery and produce bags and the collection of new toys and fleece blankets for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

There will also be a presentation on refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants and their legal challenges with Chris George, executive director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, and the collection of household goods, jewelry making supplies and sewing notions for IRIS.

These activities will be offered throughout the day: a photo exhibit, “Refugees of Connecticut,” from IRIS at the Hen’s Nest Art Gallery; the collection of household goods, jewelry making supplies and sewing notions for IRIS; a food drive to benefit FISH and Washington/Warren Food Bank at Washington Food Market; Locks of Love donations at Byrde + the b Salon; a sheet and towel drive to benefit St. Vincent De Paul Mission of Waterbury at Newbury Place; donations of dog collars/leashes to benefit homeless dogs at town hall; photo shoots at Steep Rock Association sites; and the recording of the day’s activities by Shepaug film students, whose work will be reported for FOX News.

For more information and a complete list of offerings, visit

More Information

Here is a schedule of some of the activities planned:

Kindness pledges at Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Adult meditation and children’s yoga at Valley Spirit Cooperative and Wellness Center, 10 to 11 a.m.

Pruning along the Steep Rock Association trails at Hidden Valley Preserve, 10 a.m. to noon

Collection of slightly used sneakers, cleats and sports sandals to be donated to businesses in Africa, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pilobolus workshop, in partnership with the viewing of ASAP’s “I Have a Dream” film, at town hall, 1 to 2 p.m.