Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to making this world a better place for everyone. His passion for equality and his devotion to public service made him one of the most influential figures in our country’s history. Most importantly, Dr. King challenged citizens to strive to be better and do better for their community. He is
famously known for asking “Life's most persistent and urgent question: What are you doing for others?”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was declared a federal holiday in 1983. We celebrate it every year on the third Monday in January and most establishments like banks, schools, and government agencies have the day off. However, Monday isn’t simply a day OFF for observance, but a day ON for service. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was declared a National Day of Service in 1994 and is the only federal holiday in the U.S. that is considered a day devoted to service and volunteering. On MLK Day we are encouraged to honor Dr. King’s legacy by volunteering in our local communities, and to come together to keep his dream alive by working hard to create what he referred to as the “beloved community”; not just on Monday but all year long.
In honor of MLK Day on January 18, we at Agora want to provide students with ideas for how they keep the legacy alive by volunteering in their local communities. Below is a list of potential volunteer ideas. We encourage all students and their families to think proactively about what they are passionate about and get out there and volunteer!
- Walk the dogs at the local animal shelter
- Donate food to your local food bank
- Help serve meals at a local homeless shelter
- Donate your time to the local VA Hospital or Senior Center
- Read to children at the local children’s hospital
- Gather your old clothes and donate them
- Offer to lend a hand to a local church or community center
The Corporation for National & Community Service was designated by Congress to take the lead on MLK Day of Service. Visit their website at www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday to find MLK Day volunteer opportunities in your area. You can also visit www.volunteermatch.org to find volunteer opportunities in your area, not just on Monday but all year long!