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Written by Alicia P., Sprout Volunteer

This year, Dr. Martin Luther King’s accomplishments and devotion towards civil rights and justice will be celebrated on January 18th. Throughout his lifetime he diligently taught how our society could be improved with a common understanding of equality and social justice. He focused on pressing and often controversial issues of the time such as discrimination, prejudice, poverty, homelessness and education. Through his work, specifically through his role in the Civil Rights Movement, he has set an example of nonviolence and advocacy and is seen as an icon for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Dr. Martin Luther King holds many prestigious honors and degrees from various organizations and universities. He was an ordained minister and held degrees in Law, Divinity and other areas within the Social Sciences. He was awarded countless honors from magazines and organizations like “Man of the Year” in 1963 from Time Magazine and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

MLK Day brings volunteers and community service enthusiasts from all over the country together to do various projects and hold charitable events in his honor. Referred to as “The King Day of Service,” the day is devoted to turning Dr. Martin Luther King’s teachings and dreams into realities that strengthen communities, empower individuals and bridge social barriers.

So what can you do on MLK Day? You can join an organized service project through local churches or agencies or even do something on your own. Visiting the elderly, volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen are always assessable and much needed projects.

For more information visit the website: www.MLKDay.gov. The website provides tips on getting a project started and various ideas of what you can do to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s memory.

“The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.” –the late Coretta Scott King