Fun fact about Martin Luther King Jr. Day? It is the only nationally designated day of service.
Every third Monday in January, we are proud to pause our workday at Cutter and Buck to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by giving back to our local Seattle community. No matter if it’s one hour or an ongoing opportunity, taking the smallest of steps can leave a huge impact.
As you determine when to volunteer, or where to start, reflect on these questions first:
What social issues am I passionate about?
How much time can I realistically donate?
What skills can I offer?
Once you’ve landed on your direction, or are still exploring, we have 5 ideas to consider:
1. Join or Host a Park Clean Up
Whether you find an organization that’s running an official event, get together with friends, or embark on a solo mission, tidying up your local park is a simple way to leave a positive, squeaky-clean impact on your neighborhood.
For materials, all you need is a few trash bags and pairs of gloves, and you’re good to go rescue all the granola bar wrappers from ending up in a bird's nest.
2. Clean Out your Pantry
Access to healthy, nutritious food is one of the most challenging issues across the nation, as nearly 34 million people are affected by food insecurity according to Feeding America.
Take inventory of the food in your house, and see if you can spare a few non-perishable items to drop off at your local food bank. Canned food like beans or soup are a great option, especially if you have extras from the holiday season.
3. Start a Toy or Book Drive
If your bookshelf is packed to the brim, or your child has outgrown a few toys, it’s time for an early spring cleaning. Ask your neighbors if they have books or toys to donate in good condition, round them up, and drop them off at your local library.
4. Clear out the Closet Clutter
Time to apply the Marie Kondo method by saying goodbye to the outfits that no longer spark joy.
But before you think of replacing or tossing them, host a clothing swap with a few friends. And for the extras? Donate to your local thrift shop or homeless shelter.
5. Become a Student Mentor
If you’re looking for a long-term volunteering opportunity, MLK Day is a good time to get started on local research.
A great option is becoming a mentor, especially for students. You may not realize it, but your guidance and experience is valuable, and could benefit someone else just by donating a small portion of your time every month.
Whether you’re an accountant tutoring students for math, or a writer offering SAT essay prep, your skills could help a student improve their grades or get into their dream college.
We hope that you found this list helpful, and if you’re looking for more options, you can always search for a Seattle volunteer matching organization, or ask your employer for recommendations.
Have a great MLK day of service!