Each January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity to teach young people the importance of giving back in the community. During the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. King taught the world to dream, and that all people, no matter race or creed, should be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Throughout the year Boys & Girls Clubs encourage leadership and community service on all levels, to give back and make a change in the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy. In fact, in a recent survey of regularly attending Club members, 91 percent report that they stand up for what they think is right, even if their friends disagree. And 92 percent of Boys & Girls Club members report trying to help people in need.
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, here are four ways your kid or teen can give back in your community. Make the holiday a day ON, serving the community in the spirit of Dr. King.
BUILD A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY FOR YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
A Little Free Library is a free book exchange that everyone can use. Help your child build and decorate the library box and display it outside of your home. You can even register your Library online and add it to the world map of Little Free Libraries.
PLANT TREES AND HOST A COMMUNITY CLEAN UP
This fun, hands-on activity is a great way to help the environment and beautify your community. Raise money to buy the plants and equipment, or ask a local garden store to donate the supplies. After planting and cleaning, lead a discussion on how small acts like this can impact the larger community.
HOST A SUPPLY DRIVE
Did you know that hygiene products are the most requested supplies at shelters? Other highly requested goods are non-perishable foods, school supplies, and winter coats. Once the drive is complete, donate the supplies to the organization so your child can see their impact first hand.
DECORATE AND DISPLAY KINDNESS STONES
Have your child paint stones or bricks with notes of gratitude, affirmation, encouragement, kindness, or hope. As a family, place the stones in different areas around the community to bring happiness to others. Stumbling upon one of these Kindness Stones can change someone's whole day.