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5 ways to make a difference on MLK National Day of Service

(BPT) - Every year, people nationwide celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It's not just a day off from work and school. MLK Day is led by AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, and The King Center, and it is your chance to step up, make your community more equitable, and help create Dr. King's dream of the Beloved Community through meaningful acts of service. Still not convinced? Check out these five reasons why you should serve on Monday, Jan. 15, and help transform your community.

1. Engage with your community and create constructive action

Volunteering is a powerful way to connect with your community. Service projects bring folks together, uniting neighbors and turning strangers into friends, all while helping others live healthier, safer, smarter, and more resilient lives. This year, educate yourself on local issues and discover how to participate and contribute to positive change right where you live. Every act, great and small, has the power to make a lasting impact.

2. Act on Dr. King's legacy of social justice and equity

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to creating a more just and equitable society where everyone is valued and respected. When you volunteer on MLK Day, you honor Dr. King's legacy and continue to work toward his dream of justice and equality. Whether you clean up a park, work at a local food bank, or volunteer at a shelter, you can make a difference in the lives of those around you.

3. Try a new skill to further your interests or career

Volunteering provides a unique opportunity to help others while learning a new skill. For students, volunteering can help them gain practical experience. Professionals can use service initiatives to diversify their skill sets. Perhaps by participating in the MLK Day of Service, you'll find a new interest or career that ignites your passion.

4. Bridge divides and create lasting change

Service can help bring people together. Volunteering for local service projects allows you to meet people in your community you might not otherwise know. When helping others, you can begin to see their humanity and vice versa. Group volunteer projects can build bridges between you and your neighbors to create lasting positive change in your shared community. Working toward a common goal helps to break down barriers and foster unity.

5. Experience the benefits of serving others

Did you know that volunteering doesn't just do good but is good for you? According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering can improve physical and mental health and increase self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. This MLK Day, experience the joy and fulfillment of serving your community and bettering yourself.

This year, join thousands of people in the U.S. by taking the pledge to serve on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 15. To find volunteer opportunities near you, visit

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