All the ways you can make a difference this MLK Day

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not just a federal holiday where you take off work, it’s also meant to be a national day of service — a time for action. “You can have a person in your own house that needs help. Your neighbor needs help. That is the whole premise,” said Carmen Coya van-Duijn with the King Center in Atlanta.

Here are some ways you can make a difference on this day — and all year long.

Donate time

Deliver meals: Ten million senior citizens in America face the threat of hunger and Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals for homebound seniors. You can sign up to deliver a meal and give a quick safety check for senior citizens in your area.

Start a conversation: Points of Light Sunday Supper was inspired by Dr. King’s vision that people of diverse backgrounds would come together to discuss injustices and create a plan for action. Share a meal and conversation about community issues here. Other ways to volunteer are listed on the organization’s website.

Use your words: Good with words? You can write a letter thanking a veteran, first responder or a new recruit through Operation Gratitude.

Donate talent

Build homes: Find out what the housing need looks like in your community here and help build homes for those in need with Habitat for Humanity.

Educate others: The MLK National Day of Service site provides tool kits you can use to teach your friends, families and neighbors topics ranging from disaster preparedness to well-being. Start your own project here.

Offer help: Are you a medical professional? Doctors without Borders recruits medical, administrative and logistical support personnel to provide medical care to people worldwide.

Donate treasure

Give money: Life-changing events like natural disasters happens often around the country and many people need of support. CNN’s Impact Your World has a list of causes you can donate to.

Be kind: Give a compliment. Open the door for someone. Help mom cook dinner. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Below is a list of celebrations happening in the Milwaukee area: 

  • The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee will host its 21stannual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Breakfast on Monday, January 15, from
    7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Italian Community Center, located at 631 East Chicago Street in Milwaukee.
  • U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and more than 600 volunteers will join City Year Milwaukee for a day of service at South Division High School to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • More than 45 College Possible staff and Service Corps members honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy by joining in a nationwide day of service. College Possible team members will sort non-perishables to send to local food banks at the Feeding America distribution center, which serves all of Eastern Wisconsin.
  • All Milwaukee Public Libraries EXCEPT the Martin Luther King Branch will be closed Monday, January 15 for Martin Luther King Day.
  • You’re invited to Cedar Community for a service of celebration honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 15 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend.
  • “Our Children, Our Future” is the theme of this year’s public celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Monday, Jan. 15, beginning at noon. The Center is located at 1531 W. Vliet St.