Each year on the third Monday in January, friends, family, coworkers and neighbors come together in communities across the nation to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through acts of service. The largest national day of service, MLK Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on gains won during the Civil Rights Movement and to address contemporary issues facing our nation through meaningful civic dialogue and community volunteerism. At Hands On Atlanta, a Points of Light affiliate, it is also an opportunity to celebrate Dr. King in the city where he was born and raised.
Collecting warm coats for those in need sounds like a blast from the past, an age-old concept straight from a Charles Dickens novel. But from commuter station coat drives to urban community gardens, savvy organizations around the world – like Hands On London, Jersey Cares, Romaltruista and Volunteer New York – are cooking up new ways to button down the practice of help those in need.
On International Volunteer Day, Points of Light is recognizing volunteers in communities around the world who answer the call to serve, every day and especially in times of need. However, for most of us this is a day like any other. What we at Points of Light are seeing in neighborhoods across the 35 countries where our global network operates, is a dramatic awakening and proliferation of changemaking. Hundreds of thousands of individuals doing something to brighten their communities.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Andrea Hill – director of our affiliate Volunteer Memphis – prepares and mobilizes leaders to work together for the good of the whole community, with an emphasis on volunteerism and an understanding of the differences and similarities between volunteer and community leadership.