For most, the third Monday of January is a well-needed day off work or school following the craziness of the holidays. This day, however, observed to remember the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., serves as an opportunity to honor his legacy by volunteering in your community. Here are 5 ways you can celebrate MLK Day of Service this year to ensure it’s a day on, not a day off:
Volunteer at your local food bank: Dr. King found it unacceptable for there to be hunger, once stating, “Why should there be hunger and deprivations in any land, in any city, at any table when the man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?” Some food banks may be closed due to the federal holiday. If so, use the day to do some research and signup online to volunteer any day of the year.
Deliver meals and groceries to seniors and homeless: Do some research and discover organizations, senior centers, public housing facilities, and/or families that are struggling to put food on the table. Some of these vulnerable people are unable to travel to a food bank and receiving these items directly will make a huge impact.
Register to vote: If you aren’t already, take some time to register to vote – it’s quick and easy. If there is an upcoming election, educate yourself about what’s at stake and what the candidates stand for. Take it a step further by familiarizing yourself with current political issues regarding human rights and racial equity. Dr. King once said, “Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights.”
Support a black-owned business: Support a BIPOC brand, shop, or cause you care about. There’s many ways you can support businesses of color or causes that advocate for human rights – whether it’s through a purchase, donation, or participating in a campaign or event.
Empower your co-workers: Organize a volunteerism initiative or group at your workplace. Or, develop a project that features the voices of those who have faced discrimination or highlights the work of employees’ volunteerism or advocacy in the community. If you don’t receive MLK day off, perhaps advocate your employer to create a day of service for employees.
“Everyone can be great because everybody can serve.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For more suggestions on how to get involved in your community, visit penncommunitybank.com.