Before my daughter was in school I did not realize the importance of celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Sure, I knew why we celebrated it but never studied the importance of this holiday and how we all should celebrate it and why. But when my daughter was in Kindergarten she came home from school asking lots of questions, she heard about what he stood for and wanted to know why and what happened to him. We soon went to the library so that she could read and learn more and it became an awakening for me. I am far from being an expert but every chance I get I try to find out more about what he did because I felt I knew why but even some of that was not clear to me. A few years ago we even went to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and I learned so much and it scared my daughter for all that was suffered by our fellow humans at that time.
Fast forward to now and I always try to remind her and my fellow families that on MLK Day we celebrate a Day of Service. We can use this important day to help someone else, to give in some way to others that may need a hand up. For me it's not just about the color of someones skin but about being someone who wants to help make a difference in the world. That's just what Mr. King did, he made a difference. When she was about 7 my daughter told me that Martin Luther King fixed everything and while there's much left to do, I hope that he inspired all of us to help in some small way. Because if we all help in one small way it could make a huge difference in others lives.
Not sure what to do? It doesn't have to be much, just a little effort together as a family can give your kids something to hold onto. Here are just a few ideas:
- Take non-perishable food to the food bank
- Volunteer to bring or drop off something to Feed the Homeless
- Volunteer for a few hours at an animal shelter. Even for young kids some shelters let the kids read to the animals
- Pick up trash in a park or around your neighborhood
- Bring some needed donations to Hope House
- Collect and donate food for an animal shelter
- Take (literally) a second to smile at everyone you see
- Offer to rake your senior neighbors yard
This is such a small list and I'm sure you have lots more ideas but if you need help finding an organization send me an email at email@example.com. And if your kids or family does something drop me a line and tell me about it, you may just be featured in our newsletter.