Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. What does it mean to you? To us and many others, it means a day to empower ourselves. A day to strengthen our communities. A day to bridge barriers. A day to address social problems.
There’s no denying this year has polarized us, as human beings. You’re the closest you’ve ever been to some people, and the farthest apart you’ve ever been from some people. From the pandemic to the election, there were plenty of things to come in between people. So why don’t we find some things that can bring us together?
AmeriCorps has led the MLK Day of Service efforts for the last quarter century. They’re a great resource for getting educated and finding opportunities to help, regardless of where you are in the United States. Click here to find volunteer opportunities local to your area.
If you’re local to the Richmond area, here are some opportunities we found to help you get involved!
- Donate or volunteer with Feed More. They are currently accepting monetary and food donations, along with volunteers. Their opportunities include kitchen volunteers, packing & sorting volunteers, and Meals on Wheels volunteers.
- Donate or volunteer with Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund. They have countless opportunities including on-site & DIY volunteering, making masks, virtual & on-call volunteering, in-kind donations, food bank volunteering, blood delivery, and more! Some opportunities are ongoing and some change frequently, but there’s something to spark everyone’s interest.
- Donate or volunteer with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief. They are currently accepting monetary and food donations, along with volunteers. Their opportunities include answering hotline calls, organizing & sanitizing donations, packing orders, delivering orders, and picking up donations. Additionally, they’re looking for people with skills of all kinds, including graphic design, grant writing, media, and outreach.
- Donate to Richmond Peace Team. They are a collective that establishes youth-led and centered spaces working to empower skill-building around self-regulatory behavior through creative curriculums, self-love, and self-advocacy practices. And keep them in mind for volunteer opportunities when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
- Donate to Side by Side. Their mission is to create supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish. And keep them in mind for volunteer opportunities when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
- Donate to Richmond Doula Project. Their mission is to offer support and education to people through all pregnancy outcomes, centering POC, LGBTQI, and other underserved communities.
- Donate to Black Mamas Matter Alliance. Their mission is to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.
- Give blood. You can find American Red Cross blood drive locations and times here. If you’ve recovered from COVID-19, even better. You can donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients. You can find more information about that here.
- Be a good neighbor. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture of money or time. Check on your friends and family. Extend compassion to those that may not look or act or live like you. And above all, treat others how you want to be treated.
And last but not least, check out our books that highlight this day of service and what it means to be involved.