CELEBRATE MLK DAY WITH SERVICE – JANUARY 16
Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. MLK Day held on the third Monday in January each year was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. For more than two decades, MLK Day has inspired people to use the federal holiday as a day on instead of a day off, and make community service a regular part of their lives.
However you choose to honor King’s legacy, we invite you to do something intentional and purposeful this Monday, Jan. 16. Make a difference in your community by giving back in a way that’s meaningful to you. As King said, “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”
Need some help finding a service opportunity? Here are some suggestions:
Volunteer with your local food bank or pantry.
- One in nine people in our region, including one in six children, is food insecure. At Second Harvest, we rely on thousands of volunteers every year to serve people facing hunger. For Second Harvest volunteer opportunities, visit https://2-harvest.org/volunteer/. If you’re interested in volunteering at a food pantry in your neighborhood, go to https://foodfinder.2-harvest.org/ to find contact information.
Donate food to your local food bank or pantry.
- With inflation driving up need at the same time donated food supplies are down, it’s becoming more challenging for Second Harvest and our partner food pantries to respond to demand. If you’re interested in holding a food drive or donating food to the food pantry in your neighborhood, search for contact information here: https://foodfinder.2-harvest.org/
Follow your food bank or pantry on social media.
- Want to learn more about how your local food bank is serving your neighbors, or what hunger looks like in your community? Following their social media accounts can help spread the word and keep you connected to hunger in your neighborhood. Food banks frequently post information about their current needs — from food drives to special volunteer opportunities and information about how to get help.
Learn more about focusing on equity to end hunger.
- If we focus on equity, and elevate the voices of our neighbors facing hunger, everyone benefits. See the data here: https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america
Go deeper into King’s speeches.
- Most of us can recite a verse or two from King’s most famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” But the content and character of his other works are something to marvel. Find a list of his speeches here: https://americanwritersmuseum.org/martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-and-speeches/
Read some of his books or the works that inspired him.
- Head to the library or fire up your tablet; today is a great today to read the writings of the thinkers who inspired MLK. Henry Thoreau’s 1849 essay, “Civil Disobedience,” Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and the life and works of Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as the mahatma, all had a hand in shaping his world view and advocacy.