Do you have the third Monday in January off work for Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
There’s a growing trend emerging where people who receive this day off work use their freed-up time to volunteer in their communities. It’s an opportunity to honor the teachings of Dr. King and his memory while also giving back to others.
Stuck on ideas for what to do if you’re planning on volunteering? We sat down with Odesa Stapleton, our chief diversity and inclusion officer, to get her thoughts on this day as well as the opportunities that exist to make an impact.
Q: What are some ways people can make an impact in their communities this MLK Day?
A: Martin Luther King Jr. stressed the importance of supporting and promoting civil rights as well as equal opportunities. This way, all American citizens can participate in political society without unlawful discrimination.
Taking the time to serve those less fortunate by volunteering and/or making donations to assist African Americans, other ethnic minorities, underserved or socio-economically deprived individuals or groups can have a lasting community impact.
Q: What are some specific organizations people could consider volunteering with?
A: Food banks, homeless shelters, orphanages, nursing homes, schools, churches, nonprofit home builders, refugee placement agencies, citizen re-entry groups and many other community organizations welcome volunteers to serve on MLK Day. So, they are all good places to start when looking for these opportunities.
Q: Why is it important to use MLK Day as a time to volunteer or give?
A: To be the change we would like to see requires giving back and participating in the initiatives that create the change we want to see. Volunteering on MLK Day is a great opportunity to do this.
Q: What lessons can we take from MLK’s teachings and use in our own lives?
A: One of my favorite Dr. King quotes is “darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” If we live our lives showing love for all mankind, love will prevail, and we will be a beacon to all.
Q: How is Bon Secours involved in giving back to the communities we serve?
A: Our community health department engages with many organizations, which we partner with across our ministry. And our community health directors in each of our markets help us lead these efforts.