Dr. King famously said, “Everyone can be great because everybody can serve.” If you’re on holiday today from school or work, Martin Luther King, Jr. is federal holiday of service and a wonderful way to begin each year with a personal commitment to making your community a better place. Your service honors Dr. King’s life and teachings to help your community it’s specific challenges. Service also brings a wide range of people together through a common goal.
Here are some ways you can be of service in small and bigger ways…
Start small with simple acts that will benefit someone today.
1 – Make and send cards/letters/drawings of appreciation to frontline workers or residents of senior homes who can’t see their families much right now. These are easy to do at home and to send in the mail. Kids can get involved in this one, too!
2 – Call hospital, fire stations, grocery stores, or other places with those who work the frontlines and see if you’re able to drop off food, snacks, or other appropriate gifts to show your appreciation from their community.
3 – Make a purchase that will benefit a community you want to better serve. Whether that’s purchasing from a Black-owned business to close the racial wealth gap or buying from a brand who donates a portion of sales to Feeding America, where you choose to spend your money helps, too.
Research and choose a cause that you will dedicate your time and mindset to this year.
1 – What issues are important to you? If you’re making a commitment (for example) to social justice, racial justice, animal rights, or homelessness, find organizations you can support who serve in those areas.
2 – Are there ways you can help remotely even when we can’t be together in person? This could involve making small, regular monetary donations or helping to write letters to local congress to help with the organization’s mission.
3 – Think about other ways you could you start getting involved in that organization today. Most organizations define a variety of ways to help on their website. For example, the 15 Percent Pledge has a Take Action section that tells you three ways you can help and the Loveland Foundation outlines ways to give.
Think about ways you can inspire your community with your example.
1 – Get kids involved with small and larger service projects throughout the year. It’s one thing to tell kids how you’re helping. It’s another to find ways they can help, too. Every year, my kids are involved in at least a few service projects that involve them spending half a day at an organization or physically serving in some way. Once we can all be safely together again, I look forward to more in-person options for them.
2 – Organize a service project at your workplace once or twice a year. We’ve done some work at a local food bank and volunteered at Baby2Baby with the Oh Joy! team. It will replace a typical half or full work day and is a great team-bonding activity that gives back to the community.
3 – Share on your social media. It doesn’t matter if you have 15 friends or 3 million friends on your social media. If you can impact ONE person today or any other day, that’s spreading the joy and impact of serving our community. One person affects another and it goes on and on…