Make MLK Day More Than Just A Day Off Of Work

Make MLK Day More Than Just A Day Off Of Work


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:
What Are You Doing For Others?

Monday, January 21, 2013 is a Federal holiday and marks the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.  Not so shockingly, both my husband and daughter are off of work and school.  This may come as a surprise to both of them, but we are not spending this day in the same way we spent their winter breaks: sleeping in, playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors” for who has to clean up the dog-poop in the backyard and playing video games. This year, we are going to do something meaningful with the day and serve our community.

According to The Corporations for National and Community Service and The King Center, “People of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are encouraged to serve on King Day, and to make the day the beginning of an ongoing commitment to a cause that is meaningful to them and address a need in their communities.”

Since the title of this blog is “A WINDY CITY MOMMA” I thought that I would come up with a good list of things to do in the Chicagoland area where we might find some of our friends volunteering their time too.

In Highland Park, IL: The Multi-Generational Celebration at the Highland Park Recreation Center from 10 am to 1 pm.  (1207 Park Ave West Highland Park IL.) The Highland Park event will feature the following activities & opportunities:

  1. Aaron Freeman, radio commentator, comedian, and author will be giving his comedic twist to MLK’s Dream from 10:30-11:15
  2.  Edgewood Middle School Chorus will sing songs of freedom – 10:00am-10:30am
  3. Decorate a canvas tote bag and donate a gently used picture book or easy reader to place inside. The book bags will be given to the North Shore Health Clinic for distribution to their young patients
  4. Assemble toiletries for local shelters
  5. Decorate squares for Project Linus quilts going to hospitalized children
  6. Color flowers and make flower pots for Highland Park Hospital
  7. Write letters to soldiers and children of the military (Hero Packs)
  8. Braeside PTO: Make Valentine’s for soldiers (Operation Support Our Troops)
  9. Reach for Change: Color paper dolls to raise awareness about the devastation that has occurred because of the Genocide in Darfur and throughout Africa
  10. Nurture: A non-profit dedicated to improving the nutrition and health of limited resource families. Participants will help scoop non-perishable soup ingredients into bags which they will label and include recipes for the Moraine Twp. Food Bank.
  11. North Shore Health Clinic will have information on their services and offer Blood Sugar screenings
  12. Heller Nature Center will make garland wreaths
  13. Highwood Fire Dept. will provide Fire Safety coloring books & CPR demonstrations
  14. Puppy Mill Project: Make flannel dog toys to donate to Tails of Hope—a no kill shelter.

And several other activities including story reading, decorating flip flops for youth in India and an activity by the Rotary Club of Highland Park & Highwood. Truly, there is something for everyone!

City of Chicago: This year, the City of Chicago is partnering with Jean De Lafayette Elementary School.  Over 500 volunteers from across the city will come together to transform and beautiful Lafayette with murals, painting, and construction projects.

Details for the following Chicago activities can also be found at the following site:

  • Cooking Matters Illinois Hosts A Shopping Matters Training Tour (3333 South Iron Street, Chicago, IL 60608 – January 19, 2013)  Continuing a tradition the First Family began four years ago, Inauguration weekend will begin with a National Day of Service on Saturday, January 19th that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers across the country are organizing service events in all 50 states


If you are out and about in Chicago, here are some of the activities I found thanks to (*Note: Not all of the dates are 1/21.  Some of these activities occur over the weekend)

I am so excited for all of the activities occurring in honor of Dr. King!  Even though the weather might be frightfully cold this weekend, getting involved by volunteering your time and  learning about Dr. King’s legacy may hit the spot and at least warm your heart (if not your hands!)