The third Monday of every January since 1986 has been reserved as a national holiday in remembrance of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Too often, this holiday is seen as just another day off from work or school, but is not a day off. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. always encouraged people of all backgrounds to give more to their community. To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this year, here are some ways you can provide service to your community.
Volunteering at a local organization such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter provides a great way to give back to the community. These organizations are focused on helping others who are less fortunate and in turn reap some of the great rewards and satisfaction of helping others. There are always volunteer opportunities available for all types of interests. A great website to find a volunteer opportunity is www.volunteer.gov . All you have to do is enter your zip code to find rewarding opportunities to serve your community.
MLK Day Service Projects
Throughout the country, there are various service projects specifically for celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. These opportunities range from book drives to tax preparation to baby food drives and everything in between. These are only a day commitment volunteer opportunities if you are unable to commit year round. For more information on MLK Day Service Projects visit http://my.mlk.gov .
Help a neighbor
Serving others does not mean you have to serve through a community organization to reap the rewards of service. Simply helping your neighbor carry in groceries or shoveling snow is an act of service which would bring satisfaction from serving. By helping a neighbor you are showing you care just as much as those who volunteer in homeless shelters or with fundraising drives.
Tutor a child
Since children are the future, helping a child with schoolwork shows you care. Children are often left to struggle with their homework, since many households have both parents working or just one parent. Helping a child get the most out of his or her education will not only benefit the child but will help increase the positive contributions the child will later have on society.
Make a contribution to a charity
While many people do not have the time to serve through their hands, they can make a contribution to a charity. Giving to charities is one of the most selfless acts of service. These charities can range from cancer awareness to community programs. It really does not matter to which type of charity you give; all you have to do is give a piece of yourself to the community. To find a list of charities visit www.give.org .
Help organize a celebration
A great way to provide service on MLK day is to organize a celebration for the children. Children need to understand that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not just a man who was famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech, but for his accomplishments for giving back to the community and teaching all Americans the need for tolerance and unity. By holding a celebration which is fun and educational, you may impact the children far more than if it were just taught as a piece of U.S. History in school.
Some ways to have a celebration would be to speak with your local children’s museum or the local library. Most of these organizations will be more than willing to help organize some activities to teach about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Another way to have a celebration is through a parade in the honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Whichever way you decide to celebrate, children will be impacted.
Remembering the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. should not be filled with just memorial services, but should be remembered through the services of all Americans. Seeing Americans unite together for a single cause of serving is the best celebration we can give in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remember the 15th of January as not another day off but as a day to serve.