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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It might be a day off school and work, but Martin Luther King Jr. Day is intended to be “a day on, not a day off.”
MLK Day is the only federal holiday that is designated an official day of service.
“The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive,” Coretta Scott King once said, per the U.S. Department of the Interior, “is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.”
Countless Americans volunteer on MLK Day, which falls on the third Monday of January each year. (It’s usually close to King’s real birthday, on Jan. 15.) Some volunteer at a park, donate items from their pantries or gently-used clothing, or just call family members or neighbors who might be lonely. Many other ideas for ways to help make our communities more equitable are available at mlkday.gov.
King was a powerful leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. Among many other ideas, he popularized the notion of the “beloved community” — a community without poverty or hunger, where racism and discrimination would give way to love and acceptance.
What could you do today to improve your community?