By Kelley Freeman
Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiring figure to many Americans, even more than forty years after his death. It is in his name that there are so many service events on Martin Luther King Jr. Day every year—which is a great way to kick off the new year! Some universities plan events all over their local communities for students to participate in, and many off-campus groups set aside time to volunteer that day as well, including some of our fantastic Volunteers Beyond Belief affiliates.
Humanity on Call in San Diego, CA, had their fifth-annual MLK Day Interfaith Service event, where they worked side-by-side with people from diverse religious and cultural group by helping clean up, clearing and hauling brush, mulching, and planting in a local park. What is especially great is how many kids and their parents came out for this fantastic and successful event. They even had a picnic after their service work was done for the day.
The Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in Charleston, SC, had an event the weekend of MLK Day where they planted bulbs in Corrine Jones Park with the Charleston Parks Conservancy. What a great way to start the new year off by pruning back some of the tendrils that winter (and 2012) had left behind.
Prescott Freethinkers in Prescott, AZ, paired up with Yavapai Community College Secular Student Alliance for their MLK Day Service event. Like many colleges, Yavapai has a service organization, called Serve Yavapai, that plans huge service events that offer students and other community members a chance to get involved. This year, their service events focused on supporting the local schools in Prescott Unified School District and Humboldt Unified School District.
Isn’t it inspiring to see so many of our friends and affiliates out there doing work for their local communities? It means so much to the people who live there and shows how much we care about our neighbors, not only on Martin Luther King Jr. Day but all year long. It does the heart good to see people doing good!
We’ll leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. about the importance of doing service and caring for your fellow humans: “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”