Staff Editorial

Honor King's legacy by lending a helping hand

A 2-year-old gathers supplies for a hygiene kit with her mother during 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day programming in Iowa City. The assembled kits were made with donated items and distributed to DVIP and Shelter House. The service project was part of a series of events coordinated by the MLK Alliance Group, a collaboration of Iowa City-area community groups. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
A 2-year-old gathers supplies for a hygiene kit with her mother during 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day programming in Iowa City. The assembled kits were made with donated items and distributed to DVIP and Shelter House. The service project was part of a series of events coordinated by the MLK Alliance Group, a collaboration of Iowa City-area community groups. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Each January, we remember and continue the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by taking a “day on, not a day off.”

King dedicated his life to improving the lives of those in his community and across our nation, regardless of their religion, race or sex. He fought for equality, social justice, economic advancement and opportunity for all. At the core of his beliefs was an unwavering dedication to helping all people — because doing so not only provided a helping hand to the causes and people in need, but helped spur power and purpose for those reaching out.

In honor of King’s legacy, Congress designated King’s birthday as a Day of Service in 1994 to empower individuals and communities to work together for a brighter future for all — one step closer to King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

It stands as the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service, led by the Corporation for National and Community Service and The King Center in partnership with many nonprofit, government, faith-based and community groups.

In Iowa communities large and small, people will come together to celebrate King’s life and contributions through service to others in soup kitchens, schools, churches and more.

Those who need help finding a place to serve should visit the MLK Day of Service website and search by ZIP code for lists of immediate and ongoing needs. Your talents, whatever they may be, can fill a need for a local organization and be part of what pushes your community forward.

As King said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

We not only hope you find a place today to display the better angels of humanity, but that the task you choose to undertake becomes a habit.

• Comments: (319) 398-8262; editorial@thegazette.com

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