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MLK Day: A time to remember, a day to serve

carry on his legacy and serve your community
carry on his legacy and serve your communitycourtesy of Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Monday, January 20, 2014 marks this year’s date to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. as well as recognize 20 years of declaring it a day of national service by Congress. The third Monday in January is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. As the nation pauses to reflect on the achievements of a man who changed the world forever, why not consider a way how you can make a difference in your community this year. Although Martin Luther King, Jr. was known for his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, he spent his final months focused on justice, peace, and fighting poverty. Sadly, statistics prove more Americans today are living in poverty than during his lifetime, with 47 million falling below the poverty line. See how you can follow Dr. King’s legacy and support “a day on, not a day off.” Check out volunteer opportunities in your local area where you can help on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and make a difference.

Here are some ways to serve in the Louisville community:

PTA Clothes Closet through JCPS REACH Corps-AmeriCorps, 319 South 15th Street, Louisville, 9 am – 12 pm. Volunteers will sort donated clothes and assist families as they pick them up. Contact Kristen Thurman, 502-485-3949, Kristen.thurman@jefferson.kyschools.us.

Salvation Army Community Kitchen, 911 South Brook Street, 5 – 7:30 p.m. Serve dinner for families in the Salvation Army Center of Hope Dining Hall. Call 502-671-4920 to sign up.

Home of the Innocents, 1100 East Market Street, Louisville – in operation for over 130 years, the Home has served over 3,900 children last year and needs your help. Volunteers from 13 and older are needed for many of their diverse programs. Consider becoming a Childfriend Volunteer or Foster Grandparent. Consult the website for opportunities and applications or email volunteerservices@homeoftheinnocents.org.

Dare to Care Food Bank, 5803 Fern Valley Road, Louisville – Most people donate canned goods to the food bank, but there are many opportunities to volunteer in the area. Help sort food in the warehouse, serve meals at Kids Cafes, or assist with administrative support. Call Pat Kenkel for volunteer opportunities, 502-736-9421, or check the website.

Metro United Way, Louisville – Volunteer to read or tutor a child as part of the Raise Your Hand for Education pledge. Become a mentor in Y-Now as part of the YMCA Safe Place Service providing support to youth in the Children of Prisoners program. Or assist families with free income tax preparation with VITA for the Elderly. All volunteer opportunities are listed on the Metro United Way’s website.

Catholic Charities of Louisville – Assist refugees with basic English skills in the Elderly Refugee Program, help with childcare in the Mother-Infant Care Program, or become an ESL Instructor or Mentor with Migration & Refugee Services. These are just a few opportunities with Catholic Charities. Contact Rita Eichert for more information, 502-637-9786 or reichert@archlou.org.

More volunteer opportunities in your community may be found at All for Good.