ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The third Monday in January is recognized as the MLK Day of Service. More importantly, it is a federal holiday to honor the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the legacy he left behind. King, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was a prominent leader of the American civil rights movement from 1955 until his untimely death in 1968. Today, most people observe this national holiday by attending various events in his honor and by providing acts of service.
King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” The MLK Day of Service encourages all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic makes volunteering a challenge. However, the following are some volunteer opportunities that can be done safely:
- Donate blood, which is a national critical need in the midst of a pandemic.
- Donate money to a favorite charity.
- Create care packages for people who are homebound.
- Donate canned goods or non-perishable items to a local food bank.
- Drop off unwanted clothing at donation sites.
- Become a virtual educator for children or other audiences.
- Foster a cat or dog in need.
People around the world can embrace King’s legacy by providing acts of kindness right in their own communities. Within the programming of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, there are many opportunities for people to volunteer. The Volunteer in Urban Programs webpage provides great information on how people can serve Extension urban and suburban audiences. Potential volunteers can also contact their county’s Extension office to determine what opportunities are available.
Remembering the Legacy
People best remember King for his leadership in the civil rights movement, and his use of peaceful protests is mirrored around the world. King’s legacy also shines in the spirit of community service. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System honors that legacy daily by serving the people of Alabama, regardless of who they are or where they come from. When it comes to Alabama Extension programming, everyone is welcome!