January 20, 2014 is the US federal holiday dedicated to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of service. The day provides a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s dream of civic engagement by getting out into their communities and making a difference. MLK Day doesn’t stop on January 20th it is a philosophy of service that should be carried on throughout the year. Here are a few simple ways to put action into play on Dr. Kings’ dream:
Support your community by volunteering at a local soup kitchen; food bank, public library, nursing home, homeless or animal shelter.
Let your voice be a tool used for change. You can join several organizations that specialize in advocacy, sign a petition for change via change.org or hand out flyers with useful information. You can even sit on your community or town hall as a volunteer board member.
Become a leader in your neighborhood and gather support for community forums, town hall meetings, community clean up, feed the homeless initiatives.
Apart from money; the most valuable thing you can donate is your time. With so many underserved youth out there you can make an impact by signing up to mentor at a boys and girls club or other mentorship programs.
Donating clothing , furniture or your car to goodwill and/or charity orgs.
Sharing your knowledge through tutoring a child or teaching a class at a local learning center.
Make an impact by sharing resources with women’s shelters and non-profit groups that support the disabled or visually impaired (Columbia lighthouse for the blind). Donating computers and practical items such as desks, chairs and toiletries can always help further initiatives.
These are just a few ideas but if you know of any other ways to stay involved and would like to share; comment below.
A few facts about MLK National Day of Service:
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Information Courtesy of MLK.gov