The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nuts and Bolts of Preparing for Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I recently received an email invite recently asking me to sign up to be involved in the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 19. That made me curious about the possibilities. I found the National Service site had a whole section for planning events of your own, which might be found at:

Among the possibilities are:
  • Disaster Services: training neighbors to be prepared ... sounds very topical, especially for coastal and tornado zone people.
  • Economic Opportunity: teaching financial literacy; promoting volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) and earned income tax credit; point in time count of people experiencing homelessness
  • Education: organize a book and school supply drive; bring learning into service; organize a FAFSA training event
  • Environmental stewardship: planting trees in your neighborhood
  • Healthy Futures: organizing a fitness event; creating and expanding a community garden; educating your community about the new healthcare law; locating community health centers and sign-up for CHIP; teach healthy cooking and eating on a budget; helping kids make healthy food choices
  • Veterans and Military Families: writing letters to the troops; holding a faith-based and community roundtable; hosting a stand down event for homeless veterans. 
Frankly, I'm pleased to see so much information on so many options. At each site you can get a downloaded PDF file (PDF's are read by Adobe Acrobat Reader, which most computers come with, but you can get a copy if your computer doesn't have on or your copy is out of date at and will explain what you need to do. What a great way for a local organization to plan to make a difference in their community each and every year ... while learning new information to pass along. 

I'd suggest starting to plan now for next year. Tip for organizations: local newspapers and news outlets are always looking for local stories. Let them know well in advance what your team is planning to do ... and you may just get some coverage of your long planned and community beneficial event! Win-win for everyone. 

If you don't have time to plan ahead, you can find local opportunities to volunteer for at least part of the day and make a difference. For instance, for those who live in southeastern Pennsylvania near Valley Forge, you could participate in a volunteer activity from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. See:

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