Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” In honor of his memory, millions of Americans will be getting involved in service projects in January. What will you do for your community this MLK Day?
The year 1986 marked the first time Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recognized and celebrated as a federal holiday. In honor of the civil rights leader, Congress declared that MLK Day as a “national day of service” in 1994. Since then the Corporation for National and Community Service has made great strides to encourage Americans to view MLK Day as “a day on, not a day off.” To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a memorial was built in Washington, D.C., which opened in August 2011.
Want to know what sort of volunteer opportunities you can get involved in? Check with your local religious center, community center, soup kitchen, or volunteer organizations. If you need mindful suggestions to inspire you, check out the ideas listed below.
Tips for Honoring Dr. King Through Service
- Lend a hand to the youth. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped future generations live a better life and you can too. Become a mentor to a young boy or girl. The Boys and Girls Club or a local YMCA could give you more information.
- Take action. Local action groups need extra hands and extra voices to get their causes heard and respected. Consider joining a local activist organization. Getting involved in mindful campaigns that can bring good to your community.
- Beautify the neighborhood. If you’re looking for a way to get involved start with your neighborhood. Get a group of neighbors to help clean a local park or green space. You can also help clean up the debris thrown along a roadside.
- Pay a visit. Call a local nursing home and offer to help host a game night or simply spend the afternoon talking with a few of the residents. You won’t believe the great stories you’ll hear.
- Help four-legged creatures. Animals need love and attention too. Try volunteering at an animal shelter. You’ll make some new friends who aren’t short on affection.
Bonus. All consider attending special MLK services in your community. For instance, The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change (in King’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia) hosts events every year in the memory of Dr. King and his belated wife, Coretta Scott King. If you’re in the area consider stopping by for a visit.