This year, make your Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday a day on, instead of a day off!
Step up to plan an MLK Day project in your community, and gather fellow volunteers together for a day of service.
Here’s how to do it.
Approach an agency
MLK Day is a popular volunteer holiday, and many charitable agencies have community projects planned. As you rally your community to pitch in, do a little research and find a local agency in the area that could use a few extra hands.
Your local United Way chapter is a good place to start. This organization will likely have several pre-planned projects for the holiday weekend that you and your fellow participants can join in for service to your community. It’s easy to sign up a group to participate.
You may also want to reach out to your neighborhood food bank, homeless shelter or children’s shelter to see if they need help. Churches are yet another great resource to find out about local MLK project plans. Finally, there are fantastic online resources like Points of Light and their affiliate organizations, as well as the National MLK Day of Service site which lets you search for local volunteer projects or register an MLK project that you’ve created from scratch.
Connect with your community
Once you’ve selected a project (or a few!) to participate in, it’s time to drum up some fellow volunteers in your community. Why not use your apartment community bulletin board to post the details of your service idea? You can share the information in status updates on your community’s Facebook page or broadcast your plans via Twitter. You might also create a simple flyer with the date, time, project information and your contact information. (A flyer is especially handy because you can leave it on your neighbors’ doorsteps and ask them to email you to register. Don’t forget to post extra flyers by mailboxes and in the clubhouse community area.) Your apartment manager might also help you post signs about the event and find other ways to get the word out in your community.
Martin Luther King, Jr., encouraged people to dream, so honor him by taking your day of service to the next level. Invite neighboring communities to participate alongside your apartment community’s team so that you can have an even bigger impact with your project. Once you get the ball rolling, you may even want to plan monthly volunteer days to observe the spirit of service all year long. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t afraid to make his mark in history, and neither should you be!
To learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy, check out online resources like The King Center. You might plan a visit to the MLK National Historic Site, one of many educational attractions in Atlanta, GA. The National Civil Rights Museum is also a great source for information and inspiration.
Photo Credit: L. Kragt Bakker / Shutterstock