Next Monday's MLK Day of Service offers opportunities for volunteers in Southern Arizona to get involved in strengthening their communities.

Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to make the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday "a day on, not a day off" by serving others, says the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona.

Projects in Tucson and Sierra Vista include writing letters to troops overseas, harvesting fruit trees for the Community Food Bank, sanding bookshelves for a shelter, removing buffelgrass, cleaning up yards and knitting a blanket for a needy person.

Individuals and families can view all the opportunities and sign up by visiting or by calling 1-520-881-3300. Organizations, schools and neighborhoods can still register their projects.