Remembering John F. Kennedy

Dallas JFK DAY to bring thousands of volunteers together to honor President Kennedy's legacy

Dallas JFK DAY to bring thousands of volunteers together for service

"Hotel Texas" at Dallas Museum of Art
JFKDAY is designed to commemorate Kennedy's dedication to public service.   The History Blog

To commemorate John F. Kennedy’s commitment to service, the City of Dallas has declared November 23 The President John Fitzgerald Kennedy Day of Service within Dallas County. JFK DAY will bring together thousands of volunteers for projects across Dallas County.

In a press conference at the North Texas Food Bank on August 6, JFK DAY founder Chart Westcott and Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins unveiled the plan to enlist volunteers from all over the county to take part in community service events.

Westcott envisions more than 2,500 volunteers working on “dream projects” with partners including Goodwill, SPCA of Texas, Special Olympics of Texas and the Salvation Army of Dallas.

More than 2,500 volunteers will work with partners including Goodwill, SPCA of Texas, Special Olympics of Texas and the Salvation Army of Dallas.

In all, there are plans for service projects at more than 50 spots in the county.

“Dallas is a generous city with a philanthropic core. Through JFK DAY, we have the opportunity to elicit an unforgettable visual that honors President Kennedy’s legacy of public service,” Westcott said in a statement. “As our city mobilizes to fill the volunteer needs of organizations across the city, we will demonstrate our commitment to answering the President’s call to serve our county.”

Westcott is currently campaigning for a Texas Legislature spot in 2014. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes and Arlington native, will serve as honorary serve as honorary chair of JFK DAY.

“I chose to be involved in JFK DAY because the core values align with the values upon which I founded TOMS. From the very first pair of shoes that we sold, we have tried to use everyday purchases as a force for good around the world,” Mycoskie said in a statement. “Through his words and actions, President Kennedy inspired millions to improve their communities. As a company that is founded on a commitment to community service, we hope to do the same.”

To help build awareness for JFK DAY, the organization is partnering with the Texas chapter of the Special Olympics, which was founded by JFK's sister, Eunice, to host a 5K called “Carry the Torch” on November 7. Race participants will carry a battery-powered torch through downtown Dallas to “symbolize how one person in a community can light the darkness through an individual act of service." The event will begin and end at the JFK Memorial.