Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is one big teaching moment for the family. To make the most of it, I work with the kids to plan our community service project for the day. Finding the right project can be tough though, since many organizations have age restrictions to keep volunteers safe. If you’re on the lookout for something special to do this MLK Day (which is January 21), here are some ideas:
- 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: Once again, the Cleaver Family YMCA will offer a wide variety of very family-friendly community service projects from 9am-noon, in honor of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers are invited to stay the whole 3 hours, or pick and choose your own time frame, depending on what you and the kids can manage.
- Olathe Public Library MLK, Jr. Day of Service: Families can drop by the Olathe Downtown Library from 10am-4pm to participate in family-friendly service projects for local nonprofits. Or starting Jan. 19, you and the kids can drop off non-perishable food for Harvesters in donation bins at both Olathe Library locations.
- Snack Bags and other Comfort Kits for Ronald McDonald House: This is a great project to do with a few other families. Buy the materials, put the bags together, and deliver as a family. The Ronald McDonald House staff is usually more than willing to take you on a tour during drop off.
- 2019 MLK Nature Walk: This isn’t a volunteer opportunity in the strictest sense of the word, but the Heartland Conservation Alliance is looking for walkers to come together as a community in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Plus, it’s a great way to get the kids outside and gain a sense of history, all wrapped into one!
If January 21 isn’t the right time for you and your family to do community service, here are a few anytime ideas to work into your schedule:
- Check out KindCraft KC, which holds monthly service project events that people of all ages can do. FYI, these events fill up quickly!
- Save weekly…then donate: Pick a day of the week to make a donation in your “charity pot.” Whether the kids earn the money through chores, or you use the coins floating around the bottom of your purse, any amount works! Once the pot is full, decide as a family where you are going to donate the money.
- Visit a Senior Adult Center: Make some cards and spread some joy through a visit to your nearby senior living facility. Short conversations with residents and staff brightens their days.
- Clean out the house: Sort through your children’s outgrown clothing, toys or books with them at your side. Then donate the gently used items to Safehome, Rose Brooks Center, or another family shelter of your choice. This is a win-win for all: tidied house, and you helped someone in need.