Celebrate MLK Day Jan.18 by giving back

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Presumably because of the pandemic, we did not have enough January events submitted to

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

arkansaslivingmagazine.com (and other state and local calendars we check) to publish an Around Arkansas calendar of events this month. Virus cases are still rising, so caution seems to be on communities’ minds. 

One event we did find seems like a good idea, and can be done safely from wherever you are in the state. Jan. 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday celebrating the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. It is also a national day of service. The federal volunteering website, Americorps.gov, has this to say about the day: “Observed each year on the third Monday in January as ‘a day on, not a day off,’ MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.”

The site provides links to service opportunities in your city or zip code, and users can register additional service projects for inclusion in the database. (Some listings could be outdated, so check carefully.) Service could include volunteering for a local church or nonprofit, organizing a cleanup of park or public land, joining a volunteer fire department, teaching someone to read, or countless other acts of giving your time and talent to your community. 

EngageAR, a division of the Arkansas Department of Education, also works with Americorps to promote the Martin Luther King Jr. national day of service. EngageAR’s site, volunteerar.org, similarly has a searchable database of service opportunities available in your area. Whether you find ways to help from these sites or by reaching out directly to your community’s churches, schools and nonprofits, we hope you’ll consider starting 2021 with an act of kindness for your community. We could all use a little extra help. 

If you have an upcoming event, we encourage you to submit it to arkansaslivingmagazine.com for a free listing.

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