In 1994, Congress recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national day of service. Yes, we may not have to go into the office or school on this federal holiday, but we are still supposed to work. Work to make our communities safer for children and families. Work to empower individuals who may not have a voice. Work to bridge cultural and economic barriers. The Corporation for National and Community Service describes it best: “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day on, not a day off.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” And on Monday, people across the country, including our own Communities In Schools alumni, answered this question in many different ways. Some people helped paint murals and repair buildings. Others served food to the homeless. Some made “get well soon” cards for hospital residents. The amazing work that men and women did yesterday brought neighborhoods together under the banner of hope, and brought all of us closer to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Today is Tuesday, January 17. The national day of service is over, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop working towards Dr. King’s dream. Together, we can make every day a day of service. Take a moment from each day to do something nice for others. You don’t have to paint a mural or refurbish a building…but you can hold the door open, donate some loose change or even become a mentor for a student. Communities In Schools is always looking for people willing to volunteer their time to make a difference in the lives of students across America.
Every positive thing we do, no matter the size, makes our communities brighter places to live. And our collective small acts for good keep Martin Luther King’s memory and commitment to service alive.