Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not just a federal holiday where you take off work. It’s also meant to be a national day of service — a time for action. “You can have a person in your own house that needs help. Your neighbor needs help. That is the whole premise,” said Carmen Coya van-Duijn with the King Center in Atlanta.
Here are some ways you can make a difference on this day — and all year long.
Deliver meals: Ten million senior citizens in America face the threat of hunger and Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals for homebound seniors. You can sign up to deliver a meal and give a quick safety check for senior citizens in your area.
Start a conversation: Points of Light Sunday Supper was inspired by Dr. King’s vision that people of diverse backgrounds would come together to discuss injustices and create a plan for action. Share a meal and conversation about community issues here. Other ways to volunteer are listed on the organization’s website.
Use your words: Good with words? You can write a letter thanking a veteran, first responder or a new recruit through Operation Gratitude.
Build homes: Find out what the housing need looks like in your community here and help build homes for those in need with Habitat for Humanity.
Educate others: The MLK National Day of Service site provides tool kits you can use to teach your friends, families and neighbors topics ranging from disaster preparedness to well-being. Start your own project here.
Offer help: Are you a medical professional? Doctors without Borders recruits medical, administrative and logistical support personnel to provide medical care to people worldwide.
Give money: Life-changing events like natural disasters happens often around the country and many people need of support. CNN’s Impact Your World has a list of causes you can donate to.
Be kind: Give a compliment. Open the door for someone. Help mom cook dinner. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The time is always right to do right.”