Monday marks the birth date of Martin Luther King Jr. and the opportunity to celebrate -- and perpetuate -- the civil rights leader's mission to bring equality, social justice and economic opportunity to all. When you take off from work Monday, consider taking a few hours to give back to those in need to keep King's mission and memory alive.
"Now more than ever, we need to take heed of Dr. King's teachings and work together to achieve his dream," Robert Velasco II, acting CEO of Corporation for National and Community Service, said in a release "Volunteer service is a powerful way to strengthen economic opportunity. And when better to start than on the day we honor Dr. King?"
Wondering how you can get involved and volunteer for MLK Day? Check out some options below.
Advent Lutheran Church and Congregation Ansche Chesed come together on Jan. 15 for a family day of service and offer hands-on social action projects for participants of all ages. For more information, visit the ServiceNation website.
Help a host of people in need when you sign up with the Jewish Community Center to prepare meals for a soup kitchen, visit the elderly and assemble food and toiletry kits for the homeless on Jan. 16, starting at 10 a.m. Participants pay $5 to help pay for supplies. For more information, visit the JCC website here.
For more events honoring MLK in New York, click here.
Inspire the 400 elementary students at the Lincoln School when you assemble MLK crafts to be given out and paint murals throughout the building on Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. For more information, visit JerseyCares.org.
Hear inspiring stories about Martin Luther King and then help construct a mural that expresses his messages of hope and social justice on Jan. 16 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.. For more information, visit the Newark Museum website here.
For more events in New Jersey, click here.
Help memorialize King's message when you contribute to painting a mural of the civil rights leader at the Perry School in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit the HandsOn Greater DC Cares site here.
Make going to school an inspiring experience for the kids at Los Angeles Academy Middle School when you paint educational murals, build benches and create engaging blacktops on Jan. 16 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. For more information, visit City Year's website here.
Bring some additional life to the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Long Beach when you spend the morning of Jan. 16 planting trees in his memory. For more information, visit the Service Nation website here.
For more opportunities to serve and celebrate in California, click here.
Beautify the Earl Boyles Elementary School by cleaning up the school garden to make it an even more conducive place to learn and play. Learn more about this volunteering opportunity by visiting the Hands On Portland website here.
Empower and educate Portlanders when you help sort through the retired books at the Multnomah County Library that will be distributed to the public. For more information, visit the Hands On Portland website here.
For more volunteer opportunities in Oregon, click here.
Distribute food to those in need, feed the homeless, donate clothes and celebrate a day of peace, all in part of Serve Illinois' initiative to commemorate Martin Luther King's memory with a day of giving to others. For more information on volunteer opportunities in Illinois, click here.
Perhaps your coat will be the one to help the Burlington Coat Factory hit its one millionth donation goal. Bring your gently used jacket or coat to any of the participating store locations now through Jan. 16. For more information, visit the One Warm Coat website here.
Habitat for Humanity is taking advantage of the day of service honoring Martin Luther King Jr., and is hosting a Unity Build and a Rebuild event. Rebuild focuses on working on homes that were struck by the tornado in April.
The Pell City Animal Shelter is seeking volunteers to help beautify its animal cemetery. For more information, click here.
For more volunteer opportunities in Alabama, click here.
Volunteers can commemorate Dr. King's message of compassion by volunteering to serve and entertain the residents of the Miami Rescue Mission. The Broward Outreach Center will host volunteers at three different sites, for more information, click here.
Help a child realize her dreams when you donate a new or slightly used book in honor of Martin Luther King. For participating locations, click here.
Make sure that 4,000 meals are delivered to home-bound seniors and people with disabilities in Dallas County when you volunteer with Meals On Wheels on Monday. For more information, visit the Service Nation website here.
When you volunteer with United Way Capital Area and Hands on Central Texas' day of service on Jan. 16 you'll work on home improvement projects all across the state. For more information, click here.
For more events in Texas, click here.
To find a project in your hometown, click here.
Don't have time to volunteer this MLK Day? Check out The Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change, or donate to Dr. King's National Memorial in Washington D.C. to show support.