Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
A “Day On, Not a Day Off”
MLK Day is a day of service. In fact, it is the only federal holiday observed as a ‘day on, not a day off’.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Aptly observed on the 3rd Monday of January, MLK Day presents the perfect opportunity to start out the new year by thinking of others. As a wise man once said, “it is important to have something outside of yourself.” #DadWisdom
We have had three weeks to set resolutions for the new year and, as the chart shows, most of us focused our attention inward on self-improvement & personal goals.
In honor Dr. King’s vision, now is the time to make a commitment, any commitment, to make your community a better place.
You will find more statistics at Statista
“By making service part of our daily lives, we can help realize Dr. King’s dream.”-MLKDay.gov
What is MLK Day?
We planned to explain the particulars & significance of this day of service but thought the message was better articulated in the video below.
So, take 2 min. to watch Barack Obama’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Video.
Why Engage on MLK Day?
Taken from NASPA & AASCU’s Collection of Resources Guide
“With a steadfast belief in a nation of freedom and justice for all, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked tirelessly to fulfill his dream of equality. He encouraged all citizens to unite and take action to make the United States a better place to live. The MLK Day of Service honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings through community service that helps to improve social problems. Service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility. On this day, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through service projects that:
- Strengthen Communities
- Dr. King recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Through his words and examples, Dr. King challenged individuals to take action and uplift their neighbors and communities.
- Empower Individuals
- Dr. King believed each individual possessed the power to uplift him or herself no matter what the circumstance. Whether teaching literacy skills, helping an older adult surf the Web, or helping an individual build the skills needed to acquire a job, acts of service can help others improve their own lives.
- Bridge Barriers
- In his fight for civil rights, Dr. King inspired Americans to think beyond themselves, look past differences and work toward equality. Serving side by side, community service bridges barriers between people and teaches us that in the end, we are more alike than we are different.
These ideas of unity and purpose—and the great things that can happen when we work together toward a common goal—are just some of the many reasons we honor Dr. King through service on this special holiday”
I Have A Dream
MLK Day of Service Resources:
It is crazy simple to get involved & give back to your community. There are many ways to commemorate Dr. King through service but here is a quick list of ideas & resources.
- NationalService.org is basically a one-stop shop for MLK Day resources. We recommend checking this out to search for local volunteer opportunities.
- Scholastic provides MLK Day resources for teachers & parents including free lesson plans, worksheets, projects, ect. to teach children about the “impact of Dr. King and the importance of volunteering”.
- Share on Social Media to encourage & inspire others to serve.
- 100 Acts of Kindness Project
- We will be participating in this project which starts on MLK Day and ends on Valentine’s Day. The idea is simple. Print out a list and preform 1 act of kindness each day. This is a great example how simple it is to give back to your community. Even the busiest person can find a moment for these random acts of kindness (and they add up).
- Even though this project says “for kids” the list is far from exclusive. You could certainly complete the list as a family, classroom, or like us, as a couple.
- This is a great way to ease into consistently giving back & thinking of others.
- Share your progress Hashtag #100ActsofKindness
This post is an educational and practical look at MLK Day. While it is certainly important to understand what this day means & how you can contribute, there is more to come on Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights including:
- What the Civil Rights Movement means to Hideaway Books
- Some fun DIY projects for upcoming African American History Month
- Civil Rights Reading List