National Days of Service Funding


ServeOhio, in conjunction with AmeriCorps and the American Electric Power Foundation, provides grants to support community service projects organized for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January), Global Youth Service Day (April), ServeOhio Day (June), and Make a Difference Day (October). Non-profit and public organizations in Ohio including, but not limited to, volunteer connector organizations, school districts, community colleges, universities, and local governments are eligible to apply. 


2021 MLK Day of Service Grantees

On January 18, 2021, our country will pause and remember a civil rights hero, Dr. Martin Luther King. Since 1994, MLK Day has been a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” ServeOhio is proud to sponsor and promote this day of service in Ohio in partnership with AmeriCorps and the American Electric Power Foundation. This year, we’re providing funding support for ten organizations who will engage 312 volunteers across the state in celebration of MLK Day. The 2021 MLK Day Projects will engage community volunteers to create or improve community assets or infrastructure. Projects are collaborative in nature and involve a broad spectrum of community participants. Additionally, the projects will incorporate an education component, so projects create long-term, sustainable change on issues and on people. All Grantees have safety procedures in place and are following recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more in our press release. 

Want to get involved? Check out these opportunties and more on our Get Connected volunteer portal. Want some additional ideas for ways to volunteer? Check out our latest blog post here. 



10 volunteers will build a new creative arts space in the Drop-in Center that serves women in the Hilltop area of Columbus. Volunteers will paint the space, set up repurposed tables and chairs, and set up a repurposed storage container stocked with colored markers, paints, adult and children’s coloring books, art paper and journals.  

City of Hamilton, Hamilton

25 volunteers will create a Pollinator Pocket Park in two adjoining vacant, city-owned lots in Hamilton. Volunteers will clear the site of shrubs and small trees, remove litter, and build five raised garden beds in the lot.

Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, Columbus

20 volunteers will honor the legacy of MLK Jr. and Rev. James P. Poindexter by beautifying the Second Baptist Church (the oldest black Baptist church in Ohio) and Greenlawn Cemetery. Volunteers will collect litter in the surrounding neighborhoods of these two historical landmarks.

Community Food Initiatives, Athens

10 volunteers, in partnership with the COMCorps AmeriCorps program, will assemble 50 “Seeds of Change” MLK Day kits containing a pamphlet about MLK, locally grown popcorn, locally produced corn chips and salsa, recipe cards, and gardening instructions. The kits will be distributed to residents in the Hope Drive housing development.

Food Strong, East Cleveland

15 volunteers will beautify the Learning Garden in East Cleveland, a community garden that enhances fresh food access by guiding youth and families through growing their own fresh foods and cooking them in a healthful way. Volunteers will create a sign for the learning garden which will help residents take pride in this community asset and attract new members of the community.

Ohio Valley Youth Network, Steubenville

150 volunteers will assist older adults in Steubenville by cleaning up, painting, and performing simple repairs outside their house. Additionally, volunteers will clean up the local community garden to prepare it for planting in the spring and assist at the local food pantry (The Urban Mission) and the Sycamore Youth Center.

The RIDGE Project, McClure

30 volunteers from the student leadership group Ohio Youth Congress will collect personal hygiene items to donate to Cherry Street Mission and the Path Center. Students will also make fleece-tie blankets to donate to support the homeless population in their community.

United Way of Van Wert County, Van Wert 

20 volunteers will assemble school grab bags to support food insecure students in Van Wert. Volunteers will pack bags and place them in the school closet to be distributed to students in quarantine.

Wilmington College Center of Service and Civic Engagement, Wilmington

15 volunteers will acquire, deliver, and assemble a new shelving structure to the Clinton County Homeless Shelter, who recently experienced severe water damage to their existing storing and shelving structures.

Women for Recovery, Athens

17 volunteers, in partnership with COMCorps AmeriCorps program, will build and install four blessing boxes packed with free household items for individuals in need in Athens County. The blessing boxes will be placed in community spaces, reducing barriers in access by limiting the need to travel to a pantry or grocery store for an immediate need.


Current Funding 

There are no National Days of Service funding opportunities at this time. The next funding competition will be released February 9th for Global Youth Service Day.

Please refer questions regarding National Days of Service funding to Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, at           





National Days of Service 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Occurs on the third Monday in January

Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off." The MLK Day of Service calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community." Visit AmeriCorps for more information on MLK Day of Service, 

Global Youth Service Day
Occurs in April

Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities through service.  GYSD is the largest service event in the world and the only one dedicated to the contributions that children and youth make 365 days of the year. Visit Youth Service America for more information on Gloabl Youth Service Day. 

ServeOhio Day
Occurs on the summer solstice

ServeOhio Day intentionally takes place on summer solstice, the day in the year with the longest period of daylight, to maximize participation in a number of service projects ranging from educating at-risk youth about summer safety to community clean-ups.

Make A Difference Day
Occurs on the fourth Saturday in October

Make A Difference Day is the largest national day of volunteering to meet community needs. Make A Difference Day, which takes place on the 4th Saturday in October, is held in partnership with Points of Light and corporate sponsors.