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The Green Life: 10 Ways to Give Back on MLK Day

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January 20, 2013

10 Ways to Give Back on MLK Day

MLK Monument

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was more than a monumental figure for social change, he was also a man dedicated to service. In memory of his life and legacy, it is important that we all ask ourselves what he believed to be life's most urgent question,"What are you doing for others?" With this in mind, we encourage you to take the time to give back to your community and make MLK day a day on, not a day off. Below are a list of ten activities taking place in major cities around the country.

Volunteer at Golden Gate National Parks (San Francisco and Marin County,CA)

Looking for a way to serve your community while enjoying beautiful scenery? Commemorate MLK Day by volunteering with Golden Gate National Parks. There are volunteer opportunities at the following locations: Alcatraz, Fort Baker, Marin County, Mori Point, Muir Beach, Ocean Beach, Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, San Mateo County. Whether you are restoring garden on Alcatraz or assisting with grounds maintenance at Fort Baker, these activities are sure to enhance the community. All ages are welcome.

Volunteer with Truly Living Well (Atlanta, GA)

Help create a more sustainable community by joining Truly Living Well in their day of service event. Volunteers will be installing bed gardens for low-income housing divisions, families, community centers, and schools while encouraging people to grow their own food and eat healthy. This event will begin at 9:00 am at the Wheat Street Garden at 75 Hilliard St NE, Atlanta, GA.

Volunteer at 7th Annual Clean-up for Pope Branch Creek and Park (Washington, DC area)

A cleaner environment is a healthier environment. Team up with Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance, the Sierra Club, and partners to remove trash and debris surrounding the creek. Volunteers will meet at the Pope Branch Park in Washington, DC on the corner of Fairlawn Ave and M Place, SE at 9:00 am and the clean-up will conclude at noon. It is suggested that you bring your own gloves and tools. Refreshments will also be provided.

Volunteer with GenerationOn (New York, NY area)

Take some time to work with Hurricane Sandy relief and other service projects with local organizations.  The event is open to all ages and families are welcome. The projects will benefit global and local organizations. Come to PS / MS 57- James Weldon Johnson, 176 E 115th Street (between 3rd Ave and Lexington Ave) at 10 am. To RSVP and for more information contact Ben Weinstein at 917-746-8167 or by email at bweinstein@generationon.org after you've completed the form.

Volunteer at the Pasadena Public Garden (Los Angeles,CA area)

Join your community in beatifying Pasadena's only public garden. Volunteers will be picking oranges, pulling weeds, and cleaning paths to assist in the maintenance of this natural environment. Children are welcome to attend. The event will take place at 275 Arlington Drive, Pasadena, CA 91105. To RSVP and for more information contact Betty McKenney, Volunteer Coordinator, 626-441-4478, betty@caltech.edu.

Volunteer with The Kindness Connection and The Volunteer Center (Chicago, IL area)

Are you a lover of arts and crafts? Drop in, any time between 10 am and 1pm at New Trier Township High School - Northfield Campus Cafeteria in Northfield, IL and make a variety of handmade crafts for charitable community members. The address for the event is 7 Happ Rd., Northfield, IL 60093. All ages are welcome.

Volunteer with AmeriCorps (St. Louis, MI)

Join AmeriCorps as they team up with the Matthews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club to help educate the youth about beautifying the community. The event will take place between 9 am and 2 pm. Volunteers must complete a free registration with United Way of Greater St. Louis and sign up for the specific event. Details are provided once sign-up is complete.

Volunteer with Hands on Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

If you are looking to give back in a variety of ways, then Hands on Charlotte has the perfect event for you. Activities at the event will include sorting donated food and clothing, videotaping messages for troops serving overseas, making bookmarks to encourage elementary school students, and contributing to blood drives. These volunteer projects will take place at three local schools: East Mecklenburg High School, Harding University High School, and Blythe Elementary School. Volunteers should meet at Harding University High School at 2001 Alleghany St., Charlotte, NC 28208 at 10:00 am.

If none of these events interest you or if you city is not listed, visit mlkday.gov and search your city for a MLK Day Service project close to you.

--Brittany Johnson

--image by istockphoto/bbourdages 

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