10 Ways to Serve Your Community This MLK Day
By Kelsey Provow
This year Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed on the third Monday in January, has an extra special aspect to it: It falls on the civil rights leader’s birthday.
It’s also the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. If you haven’t made plans to serve and would like to, there’s still time to make arrangements. Here are 10 ideas you can consider to serve your community on Monday, January 15.
- Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Help prepare, serve, and clean up food for those in need.
- Clean up a local park or beach. You can join an organized litter clean-up effort or even just pick up trash you see while enjoying the outdoors.
- Donate old clothing and food to charity. Go through your pantry, closets, basement, garage, and bag up non-perishables and gently used items to donate. Extra credit: Donate older but still useful technology you’re not using, such as TVs, DVD/VHS players, headphones, PCs or mobile devices (make sure to wipe any personal data first!).
- Visit the elderly in a local nursing home. Give them some company and companionship through conversation and engaging in activities. You might even forge a new friendship!
- Send care packages to deployed troops. Put together boxes of snacks, hygiene items, books, and appreciation notes.
- Buy or bake treats for your local fire department. Surprise them by dropping off goodies to fuel their long shifts.
- Read to children at a local hospital or shelter. Bring cheer through books and your imagination. Better still: Leave the books behind! Just call local hospitals’ front desks and to find out which one is offering a program.
- Visit a local animal shelter and donate some toys. Spend some time playing with our furry friends. Maybe even adopt one!
- Write thank you cards to the essential workers we all depend on: local police, healthcare staff, teachers, grocery clerks, and so on. Extra credit: Throw in a gift card for a cup of coffee.
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood. Improve your community’s appearance and safety through individual clean-up effort.
We’d love to hear what you’re planning to do, and we’d love to hear your ideas to commemorate Dr. King’s memory and legacy!
Make sure to tag us on social how your plan to spend the day, and PLEASE SHARE this post to help remind our friends, family, and colleagues about this truly unique national holiday.
Kelsey Provow is an award-winning writer and editor passionate about sharing unique and thought-provoking narratives. After obtaining her master's degree in professional writing, she has spent over a decade writing across multiple industries, including publishing, academia, and legal.
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