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Be a Force for Good on King Day of Service

Posted By John Briley On January 12, 2012 @ 9:00 am In Volunteering | Comments Disabled

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Image from YSA.org

Astute readers of this blog will recall that, in a recent post [2], I chided readers to view volunteering as a year-round pursuit, not just something to be done on certain special days of the year. While I am sticking to that stance, a certain special day is upon us so I must chide you to volunteer now, even if only for one day. That day is Monday, Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service [3].

Dr. King had a calling [4]. From his early 20s he found and followed a vision of how he would serve others in his life. Most of us don’t have that level of certainty or clarity – even long after our early 20s – but we can honor King’s vision and his spirit by finding a volunteer opportunity that helps others.

If you are in need of more inspiration, consider the history [5] of the King Day of Service: In 1988, two Pennsylvania civil servants, Harris Wofford and Todd Bernstein, lamented that Dr. King would be disappointed that so many Americans – especially young people – were using the recently-designated national holiday as an excuse to sleep late and go shopping. It took six years and Wofford’s ascendance to the U.S. Senate for their vision of a volunteer service day to become official: In 1994 congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act [6]. Today, hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. join Day of Service projects.

If you’re looking for opportunities near you, Create The Good [7] can help.  Check out opportunities for serving others on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – or use one of our how-to guides to plan your own volunteer project.  You can also sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter for resources, tips and inspiring volunteer stories, and come back to share your own story.

So: Just. One. Day. Get out there and make a difference! Then (you knew this was coming) keep it up all year.


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/01/12/be-a-force-for-good-on-king-day-of-service/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/mlk2005_cncs1.png

[2] recent post: http://blog.aarp.org/2011/11/23/a-volunteer-memory-to-last-all-year/

[3] Day of Service: http://mlkday.gov/

[4] a calling: http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086

[5] the history: http://www.mlkdayofservice.org/history.aspx

[6] King Holiday and Service Act: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-103hr1933rs/pdf/BILLS-103hr1933rs.pdf

[7] Create The Good: http://createthegood.org/

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