Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Anyone can be great because everybody can serve.” It can be easy for a volunteer to question the difference they can make. What can really change in an afternoon of volunteering? A lot.
Points of Light’s MLK Day of Service is just one example of how the community can change in one afternoon. On Monday, January 16th thousands of volunteers of all ages, races, ethnicity, religion and gender will band together to make one movement that will leave a huge impact on our nation. This year we have approximately 300 service projects that will cover a wide range of impact areas such as environment, education, homelessness and hunger, and disaster relief efforts.
With the declining economy and 46.2 million people living in poverty in the United States (according to the US Census Bureau, the need for volunteers is greater than ever. MLK Day of Service engages over 220,000 volunteers in just one day. One hour of volunteer labor is worth $21.36 in the United States (as estimated by The Independent Sector). This MLK Day of Service, volunteers will contribute approximately $14.1 million worth of service back to communities.
The impact that our volunteers will make on Monday will mean more than just money. It will mean a warm meal in an empty stomach, a more beautiful park for our children to enjoy, smiling senior citizens at a retirement home, a new home for a family that dreamed of one, a day of fun for children, and communities joining together to help one another.
That is exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meant when he said anybody can be great. It is easy to look at an afternoon of volunteering as just one afternoon, but that one afternoon could mean the world to someone in need.
How will you celebrate that contribution this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Let us know in the comments below!