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Making it through a tumultuous 2016, most Americans continue to be resilient and resolved to move forward in a positive way. So, it is fitting that on January 16 together we will celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a man who encouraged people to embrace the differences of others, to live in peace and to serve others.
1) Organize your workplace, school or community group. Maximize your impact by organizing a group to serve the community with an activity done at your own location in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Choose a local charity and determine the best way for your group to show support. Ideas include packing snack bags for after school programs, collecting coats and hats for a homeless shelter, planting trees, creating a mentoring program, or writing letters of support to our military abroad.
2) Teach your children. The kids are home from school. Remember, as a Day of Service MLK day is supposed to be “a day on, not a day off.” Plan an activity of service and involve your children. Show by your example that volunteerism is important to your family and help to cultivate a new generation of compassionate, community- minded citizens.
3) Raise needed goods. Support a local charity with a drive for the goods they need to serve the community. An online YouGiveGoods drive is the new way to raise food and supplies for charity. You can set up your drive in a matter of minutes and have it underway in time for MLK Day this year. Then invite your online community via email and social media to support your cause by purchasing items that will ship to your selected charity. A YouGiveGoods drive builds up your community as it offers tangible aid to local charity and it provides a welcome opportunity for your friends and family to be part of this year’s MLK Day.
4) Spread the message. Use social media (use hashtag #MLKDay) to share MLK’s ideals and inspiring words. You will find his words to be stunningly timely and relevant in today’s world. Forward this page, talk about what you will do in honor of MLK Day, and encourage your circle of friends to take action to support the community.
5) Commit to service in 2017. Use Martin Luther King’s example to plan a 2017 where you take action. If you are unable to volunteer on January 16, simply spend some time researching, choose your charity, make that phone call and find out how you can best serve them in the future. Charities need help all year long!