Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought almost every day of his life for social justice and equal rights for all. He gave his life fighting that fight. And, although we have obviously made strides since Dr. King first inspired our nation and our world to take up the fight as well, we do indeed have a long way to go.
Had he lived, Dr. King would be turning 82 years old on January 17, the day that we set aside as a national holiday – Martin Luther King Day. What many people do not understand about this day of recognition is that it was not only created to encourage the continuing fight for equal rights. Though Dr. King fought for equal rights, he was also a community activist who believed that all people have the power to lift up their neighbors, black or white, to a better place through service.
So, on January 17, 2011, I suggest you, your family, and your friends take advantage of this day off to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King and do something meaningful to make a difference in your community. If you do, you’ll be joining tens of thousands of community activists, youth groups, and average citizens across the country.
There are many ways to serve the community. You can host a food drive for the needy, or collect and distribute used clothing for the homeless. You can tutor underprivileged children, or adults for that matter, to help improve their chances of literacy. You can work with a school that has had problems with gangs to help the students learn to accept and appreciate their differences, or host a book drive to collect books for the poor.
For those of you who need a little help choosing a project for Martin Luther King Day of Service, there is a tremendous internet resource in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service website . You can find project ideas and examples, post your selected project, or even find a project right in your own area that has already been registered and needs more helping hands.
However you choose to recognize Martin Luther King Day, I hope it will be a day that inspires you to fight for something that is important to you. Just as there will always be people in need in this world, there will always be people who have the power to fill those needs. Dr. King truly believed that the power lies within all of us. How will you use it?
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