“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
These are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who we celebrate every year on our country’s only federally recognized day of service. His fierce dedication to civil rights and legal reform was wholly rooted in his belief in service.
As Dr. King united communities across the country in an effort to establish civil rights for African Americans, he understood the importance of focusing on the broad. That joining in his struggle wasn’t just about individuals’ rights but an entire country’s rights. Racial and economic equality was at the forefront of the issues for which he fought so voraciously. At the time of his death, King had been organizing The Poor People’s Campaign to rally against joblessness and the income inequality found throughout much of the country. In this same spirit, AmeriCorps members have committed themselves to serve their country in an attempt to provide the equality that Dr. King envisioned. In offering yourself to the service of your country, you are rising above your personal concerns and focusing on the circumstances of broader humanity. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made service tricky this year, AmeriCorps members have continued to persevere and help make their communities across the country more equitable.
Still looking for ways to participate on January 18? Here are a few options to help continue the work of Dr. King.
- Find a volunteer opportunity in your area.
- Honor Dr. King’s legacy all year. Use King Day to find an organization you’re passionate about and make a commitment to serve with them year-round.
- Organize your family and friends to engage in doing your own service project – safely. Clean up a nearby park or deliver care packages to isolated neighbors.
- Make a donation to a local organization in need.