Back in 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service, asking Americans from all walks of life to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by taking an active role in their communities -- to make it a day “on” instead of a day “off.”
“This year’s MLK holiday, the first since the opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC, offers a unique opportunity to build on Dr. King’s marvelous legacy by renewing our commitment to the ideals he promoted,” says Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. “One of these most powerful ideals is service to our communities.
"We encourage individuals and groups to seek out ways to get involved, and we encourage agencies, municipalities and schools to think of projects that can engage people in service as a tribute to Dr. King,” continues Ms. Sharma. Ideas for projects might be include getting a space painted, having closets or pantries organized, or sponsoring a collection of items that agencies need, such as food, office or school supplies, baby or children’s products.
A wealth of ideas can be found at www.mlkday.gov. In addition, the Volunteer Center will be collecting donations of back packs, toiletry items, sweatshirts (size L and XL), and gift cards to Walmart, Shop Rite, McDonald’s, Subway, and Pizza Hut, during the week before the Martin Luther King Holiday, January 9-14, which will be distributed to homeless veterans . Click here to learn more about this project and to find other ideas on how you can get involved locally.