Volunteer opportunities to ‘Make It a Day On’ for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

by Cathi Hahner

On Jan. 19, the nation will honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Communities will come together to remember King and the imprint he left on mankind. He was a man of faith, peace and of service.

One quote attributed to King that resonates with me is, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” This is the perfect time to do a self-examination and take inventory of your service to others.

What do you do to make your neighborhood, your community, your world a better place to be? Do you help your next door neighbor? Are you a scout leader or a little league coach? Do you tutor at the neighborhood school? Have you organized a food drive for the local food pantry? Do you have a couple hours a week to help at the local homeless shelter?

Opportunities to serve are nearby. Our youth need strong adult role models who can mentor, tutor, coach and lead. The homeless need shelter and the hungry need food. The sick need comforting. All these needs can be met by the generosity of great volunteers. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” Be great … honor the memory of King through your volunteer service.

Local celebrations include the 30th annual KCK Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at Jack E. Reardon Convention Center. The event will kick off with a ‘”Motorcade for Hunger” which aims to both call attention to the plight of the hungry and collect food for local pantries. Volunteers are needed to join with their vehicles as the motorcade drives a selected route through the community spreading the word about hunger. Motorcade vehicles will meet at 9 a.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 4th and Richmond. The route will depart promptly at 10 a.m. and end at the convention center.

Volunteers are also welcome to organize a food drive prior to the motorcade or bring non-perishable items to the United Way office, 434 Minnesota, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday prior to the event. For more information contact Cathi at chahner@unitedway-wyco.org or Emily at eworm@unitedway-wyco.org or call 913-371-3674, Ext. 1308.

Rosedale Development Association is holding “RISE: Reading Inspirational Stories to Empower,” where community volunteers read a story about civil rights to school-age children for about 30 minutes throughout the week. For more information contact Andrea Steere at 913-677-5097 or ahnna@rosedale.org.

To celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. this year, take the MLK Day Challenge by making a commitment to serve not just on one day, but throughout the year. For information on how you can be great through service check out the website at www.unitedway-wyco.org and click on volunteer.

Cathi Hahner is director of volunteer services, United Way of Wyandotte County.

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