A Day On, Not a Day Off

mlk day of service

By Cara Hur, Beauvoir Parent and PA Executive Committee Member

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Next week, we will have a three day weekend to pay tribute to the life and work of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  But this is so much more than just a day off from school. In 1994, congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of service, calling for all Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.  It is the only federal holiday that is observed as a call to service — “a day on, not a day off.”

MLK Day of Service provides some special, tangible opportunities to give back to our communities as a family!  Below is a list of organizations that allow young children participants.  Some have specific MLK Day of Service events that require registration, and there are ways to serve for all types of different interests.  Take a look!

  • Rock Creek Conservancy has quite a few events on tap for MLK weekend.  Park and stream cleanups are always a great way to serve the community and get the kids outdoors!  There are clean-ups as close as Peirce Mill.  Sign-up here.
  • Calling all Beauvoir bakers!  Martha’s Table has a wonderful service, the McKenna Wagon, that drives around DC to serve sandwiches, trail mix, and snacks (including muffins!) to neighbors in need.  You can make these items at home and then take them to their 14th Street location.  Details on making and donating the food items can be found here.
  • Manna Food Drives at local Giant Food Stores – Volunteers will help promote the food drive at Giant Grocery Stores and collect food donations from customers throughout Montgomery County.  Shifts are from 9-12am and 12-3pm on January 19th and 20th.
  • A Wider Circle is a fantastic organization whose mission is to end poverty by inspiring, fostering, and measuring individual and community level change. At their warehouse off of Brookville Road, you can help sort incoming donations. Younger kids can help separate books and toys!
  • DC Diaper Bank is another great place to volunteer with your whole family!  Your session will involve bundling diapers into packs of 25 and stacking them.  Younger children can help too!

Dr. King wanted his life to be remembered as a life of service to others.  By taking a day to volunteer to serve others, we help honor this servant of humanity by continuing his work of creating a “Beloved Community.” If you and your family have a favorite community service project that inspires you, please let our community know in the comments!

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