MLK Day: A day on, not a day off

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Who remembers having the third Monday in January off from school every year? As a kid, maybe you welcomed the day-long break from your teacher and classmates after returning from Winter Break. I can recall sleeping in, lying around on the couch consuming hours of television, and sauntering to the kitchen during commercial breaks in search of satiating snacks to appease my appetite. Can you remember how you spent MLK Day year after year?

It wasn’t until I was much older – a young adult, even – that I realized that this holiday in honor of the incredible Civil Rights leader, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wasn’t meant to be just another day off. This day “off” was established to commemorate his life and legacy through service to others in and around your community.

In the midst of a pandemic, when folx (including ourselves) may find themselves struggling mentally, emotionally, financially, and socially, moments of joy and wholehearted love can be found in serving others. Of course, service to others may look a little different this year, but there is still ample opportunity to support and connect with folx in the community. It is a great day to get your family, young and old, involved and sharing their gifts with others.

Need some family-friendly ideas?

  • Organize a book drive to donate to a local shelter.
  • Make Valentine’s for senior citizens and delivery to a local senior center.
  • Clean up litter in your neighborhood or local park.
  • Send greeting cards to sick kids through organizations like Cards for Hospitalized Kids.

To learn more about MLK Day of Service and find a local socially distant or virtual volunteer opportunity, visit nationalservice.gov.

And, a beautiful reminder from Dr. King himself…

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Share your MLK Day pictures with us below!

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