It is the city's largest volunteer project in honor of Dr. King. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was expected to attend.
Volunteers spend the day working at service sites across the city to help Chicago's public school children, homeless veterans, senior citizens and adults living with disabilities.
On Monday, the DuSable Museum hosts a special King Day celebration, Moving Beyond the Dream, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Events will include storytellers, musical performances, and historic personalities walking through the galleries to present their unique connection to Dr. King.
Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for DuSable members.
At the state level, Illinois officials are urging residents to volunteer for the "Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service" on Monday. People who want to follow the service day theme of "A Day On, Not a Day Off," will find volunteer opportunities on the Illinois Serve Commission website, www.Serve.Illinois.gov
The site lists more than 70,000 ways to volunteer. Users can sift by location or area of interest. Searches also turn up one-time, ongoing and even web-based volunteering suggestions.
Along with the commission and the Illinois Department of Human Services, sponsoring agencies with projects for King's birthday celebration include the Carbondale Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps at Rend Lake College; the Chicago-based AmeriCorps Project YES!, the Springfield Urban League and the Illinois Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.