Today is recognized as a day of service. It is a day that brings life to Martin Luther King Jr.’s words about the spirit of service, and the humanity of helping others. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service, in hope to encourage people to use the day to volunteer their time to serve, whether that be with a non-profit, or directly in their community.
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You do not have to have a college degree to serve. You do not have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year, the day of service can look quite different due to COVID-19. If you are one who regularly volunteers, you may be accustomed to having already rearranged your normal routine to a virtual one, or in other routes, however, if this is your first time contemplating how you can participate in the day of service, and you are feeling pulled to do so, do not feel intimidated. There are plenty of ways for you to embody the spirit of service and spread some joy for humanity for those who need it, while invoking positivity for yourself at the same time.
- Check social media outlets for local-social distanced service events. For example, locally, we have a beach clean-up where one can participate without being close to anyone.
- Ask local neighbors in need if you can run errands for them, i.e., walk their dog, pick up groceries, medications, etc.
- Give blood- check with your local hospital and ask where they recommend you give blood to contribute to their local patients in need.
- You know us, we always recommend calling, or visiting your local rescue group or shelter and ask what their needs are. If you can donate financially, do it. If you can offer an overnight for a pup, or cat, even just one night, DO IT! It will be the most rewarding night for you and that animal you will ever have!
- You may find other tips in our previous blog about spreading compassion.
There are tons of ideas, even picking up the phone and asking how you can be of service is the first step. Once you have participated in being of service to others, you will feel a sense of elation that cannot be explained. It is an emotion that will hopefully allow you to want to continue to serve in other ways, at other times, throughout the year. The day of service helps to empower us as individuals, but to also strengthen communities, bridge barriers, address social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “beloved community.” Frankly, there is not anything else that we need more than that.