Youth Volunteers Will Show 'Words Matter, Actions Matter' on 27th Annual MLK Day of Service

Nonprofits, Schools, and Youth Development Organizations to Organize Local Youth-Led Activities Across the Country with Support of The Allstate Foundation

MLK Day of Service Banner

More than 20,000 young people, ages 5-25, will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and legacy of social justice and equity by engaging in community projects for the 27th Annual MLK Day of Service on Jan. 17. Youth-led service activities will be organized by 45 nonprofits, schools, and youth development organizations across the country that have been designated as local Lead Agencies by Youth Service America (YSA) and received grant funding provided by The Allstate Foundation.

The Allstate Foundation champions social-emotional learning (SEL) and service-learning programs to empower youth to build the just, equitable and healthy world we all deserve. The Foundation's funding will fuel the youth-led service projects across the country, giving today's youth the knowledge and skills to serve as leaders in their community and beyond.

"Today's youth understand the need for positive change, and YSA's MLK Day of Service gives them a chance to come together and engage with their communities," said Francie Schnipke Richards, vice president of social responsibility at The Allstate Foundation. "We're proud to foster partnerships like this that give our young people opportunities to lead by example."

"We are thrilled to collaborate with The Allstate Foundation to support our Lead Agency partners across the country to empower youth to be leaders in their communities at a time when the country needs everyone to work together for the common good," said Steven A. Culbertson, President and CEO of YSA. "They are putting the core American principles of citizenship, service, and unity into action."

Parents, educators, caring adults, and youth leaders can engage their families, classes, groups, and peers:

  • Serve: Plan Awareness, Service, Advocacy, and Philanthropy (ASAP) projects
  • Advocate: Connect service with voting and amplify the voices of youth in the policy process
  • Join & Lead: Add service to and recruit youth to join youth development and afterschool programs and develop leadership skills
  • Celebrate: Recognize youth volunteers and share stories that show the positive impact of youth 
  • Build Capacity: Start working to achieve 50% Youth Participation by America250 (July 4, 2026)

Additional ideas and planning resources are available at

YSA (Youth Service America) works to increase youth participation rates in volunteering and service, voting and civic engagement, and joining and leadership to at least 50% by America250 on July 4, 2026.

The Allstate Foundation pursues equity so people and communities can thrive. The Foundation champions SEL and service-learning programs to empower youth to build the just, equitable and healthy world we all deserve. In partnership with nonprofit organizations, the Foundation creates a continuum of this programming to support youth in school, after school, at home and in their communities.

Source: Youth Service America