We are all familiar with the “I Have A Dream” speaker, Martin Luther King Jr. We’ve grown up hearing about his message, his power, and his goals. Every year, we celebrate Dr. King for his mission and legacy to not only civil rights, but equal human rights.
Dr. King spent his life fighting to make a difference in the world. This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you can volunteer your time to help continue Dr. King’s mission of bringing people together for the greater good. Here are 5 ways that you can give back to your community and support Martin Luther King’s cause during your long weekend.
#1: Volunteer at a Women’s Safety Shelter.
By volunteering at a women’s shelter, you offer resources to women who may not have any other choice of safety. Volunteering could take the form of donating bedding, personal hygiene materials, canned non-perishable items, or giving an hour to help when needed. Listed below are options nearby all campuses:
Port Huron: https://bluewatersafehorizons.org/get-involved/
#2: Donate Food or Volunteer at a Food Pantry.
Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over 30 million people face food insecurities at some point during the year. This number has only increased since the beginning of the pandemic. These food insecurities are even worse in minority communities, such as African Americans, Latino, and Native American communities. By donating food you won’t eat, we not only avoid food waste but also provide someone with their next meal. For more information, please check the Feeding America website: https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america. Listed below are options nearby all campuses:
Port Huron: https://www.uwstclair.org/Food
Royal Oak: http://www.goodshepherdro.org/food-pantry
#3: Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
With Baker offering great academic programs, such as veterinary tech, people are bound to enjoy a day volunteering with lots of cute cats and dogs. Giving these sweet animals a bit of love could boost the success of animal shelter adoptions. Volunteering at an animal shelter is a perfect way to get active in the community during the cold winter months. Check below for options near you:
Royal Oak: https://www.nbarmichigan.org/volunteer.html
#4: Turn Grocery Bags into Sleeping Mats
This volunteering activity can be done from your home! Taking all of the plastic bags you get from stores and turning them into a sleeping mat that can be donated to the unhoused is a great way to help people in need and the environment. With so many bags lying around, it is easy to turn the bags into the strips that make the mat. Grab your friends and devote a bit of time creating these mats together; it is so easy to do while hanging out or enjoying a movie! More information can be found at http://www.bagstobeds.org/.
#5: Host a Clothing Drive
Helping those in need, especially in the winter months, is a great way to give back to your community. Partnering with different organizations on campus or even the local school district allows many people in the community to get involved. The more people involved, the more variety of clothes can be donated. If I have not convinced you already, you will get an early start on your spring cleaning!