MLK Day Brings People Together

On January 15, 2018, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day of Service. On this annual federal holiday, celebrated on the third Monday in January, we honor the great Civil Rights leader who worked tirelessly to bring the values of equality, peace, community and love to reality. But this holiday is not just one of remembrance, it is an official day of service where all Americans are called to serve their communities.

So, you want to take part in MLK Day in a meaningful way but is it too late to get involved? The answer is absolutely not! A great place to start is the Corporation for National and Community Service’s MLK Day of Service website at nationalservice.gov/mlkday. The website is a great resource for information and educational materials and it contains a link to a searchable database of volunteer opportunities.

If you are unable to join a volunteer project on the holiday, there are still many ways to get involved. Below are some creative ideas of how you can celebrate this day's message of civic duty and compassion.

1) Educate and lead the way. The kids are home from school. Take time to sit them down and talk about the history and legacy of Martin Luther King. Then plan a service activity. Some ideas include writing letters to our military abroad, packing snack bags for homeless shelters, collecting outgrown or extra sports equipment from around the house to donate to a local kids’ charity, or making homemade gifts for a senior center. Show that volunteerism is important to your family and feels great too!

2) Raise goods for charity. You can make a big difference in your community when you supply a local charity with items they need to support their clients. New technology has made raising goods simple. YouGiveGoods is free and easy-to-use online drive event system that enables you to raise food and supplies for any charity. Invite your online community to take part in MLK Day by purchasing items for donation to your selected charity. All brand-new items ship directly to the charity at no additional charge at the end of the drive. Click here to start your drive.

3) Spread the word. Social media has made it easy to use your voice to support a cause. Use hashtag #MLKDAY to share Dr. King's inspiring ideals and famous words in honor of the holiday. You’ll find his words to be stunningly timely and relevant in today's world. Forward this page, talk about what you will do in honor of MLK Day, and encourage your circle of friends to take action to support the community.

4) Commit to service. Make this the year that you commit to getting involved in building up your community and use Martin Luther King Day as the starting point. Take time during the day to think about MLK’s words, determine which cause moves you, and consider various ways you can help. Charities will welcome your support all year long. Contact them with own ideas or simply ask how they could best utilize your help.

Martin Luther King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” built on justice, equality and compassion is one we are still trying to realize today. This Martin Luther King Day take action to do your part to better your local community. Each of our seemingly small actions together can create great change.

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