2023 marks the 40th anniversary of MLK Day, unique in its standing as the only federal holiday designated as a day of service.* Far from fading with time, this call to serve others only resonates more strongly with each new year.
Dr. King famously observed that “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” As organizations and individuals, our ongoing commitment to supporting our communities builds stronger understanding and provides opportunities, especially for the most vulnerable groups. Acts of service simultaneously enrich those who serve and empower those who receive assistance — a unique exchange that builds upon itself to inspire others.
Washington Gas is honored to celebrate MLK Day each year by encouraging our co-workers and colleagues to take this as an opportunity for community service. We actively support these goals by offering holiday time and opportunities to match employee volunteer hours and donations. Our team members have the flexibility to assist those initiatives that speak most personally to them.
We take great pride in our employees’ activities for MLK Day, but their dedication extends well past a single holiday. Our volunteers are active throughout the Washington metropolitan area on almost any day of the year. Since 2005, they have contributed approximately 140,000 hours** toward numerous organizations, including The Salvation Army, Capital Area Food Bank, Special Olympics DC, Healthy Babies Project, The Latino Student Fund, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, INROADS, Junior Achievement, The March of Dimes and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
For nearly 175 years, Washington Gas has been part of the very foundation of our District. In fact, our founding charter in 1848 was approved within the same week that the Washington Monument cornerstone was placed. Life has changed dramatically since then, but the core needs within our communities remain the same.
Every home should be warm in the winter. Every person should enjoy food security. Every child should have educational opportunities. Every generation should inherit a vibrant planet and environment.
The recent COVID pandemic was a stark reminder that unforeseen events can strike any of us at any time. Such uncertainties can have an even more devastating impact on underserved individuals and families, such as the more than 16.5% of Washington D.C. households living at or below the poverty line.***
In 1983, we founded the Washington Area Fuel Fund to help local families stay warm in the winter, even when other sources of assistance may not be available. The program has distributed over $32 million to more than 300,000 households across the DMV. We also support a robust series of energy assistance programs through our Washington Gas Cares initiative. (Click the QR code below to learn more.)
Since 2018 alone, our philanthropic programs and initiatives have contributed more than $5 million in local support. This funding has advanced everything from grocery drives — including the purchase of refrigerated trucks to ensure fresh food — to student programs, healthy baby care and performing arts.
A famous and influential phrase from Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 emphasizes that “now is the time.” His words remind us that elevating every person and every community is an urgent, ongoing call to action. We are honored to have been part of this region since 1848, and we thank you for the opportunity to continue serving you in the future.
**Hours provided by Washington Gas Community Engagement.