Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described a “fierce urgency of now” when he spoke at the March on Washington in 1963. Now, nearly 60 years later, his words have renewed meaning. They remind us we are stronger when we march forward, together.
In recognition of Dr. King’s legacy of service and leadership to gain equality for all Americans, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service in 1994. AmeriCorps leads the effort each year.
Observed each year on the third Monday in January — which falls on Jan. 16 in 2023 — the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. Since its inception, MLK Day of Service has grown and its impact has increased as more Americans embraced the idea that citizenship involves taking an active role to make communities better.
Since its inception, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday has been synonymous with a day of service in giving back to the community. Serving on MLK Day can be an entry point for ongoing volunteer effort and help build connections that strengthen communities. Through service we can build more equitable and just communities to underpin racial equity, expand civic opportunities, and foster respect for individual differences — all great lessons for our children.
What kind of projects can you do? Anything! Any act of service honors Dr. King and his vision.
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
There are several activities around the Atlanta area being held to honor Dr. Martin Luther King (MLK), Jr.'s Birthday, his life, and his legacy to protect civil rights. We hope you find this guide helpful to find a great event for your family. With that in mind, here are family-friendly service opportunities in McDonough:
Henry County District II Commissioner Dee Clemmons to Host Anti-Violence Day of Service in Honor of MLK, Jan 14
Henry County District II Commissioner Dee Clemmons is hosting the MLK Day of Service Clean-up, Guns Down Anti-Violence Campaign on Saturday, January 14 at Cochran Park in Stockbridge. Clemmons, along with the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department, welcome any group, church, family, or individual who would like to join in a day of service at the park between the hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to participate in service projects and beautification throughout the park.
“This is a great way to spend a few hours with others in your community to the betterment of everyone,” said Clemmons. “We need to lead by example and show our children and our young people that violence is never the answer and that we all have a responsibility to make our county better, safer and more beautiful.”
The Henry County NAACP celebrates Dr. King’s legacy with parade/peace march at 9:00 am at the Henry County Performing Arts Center
The City of Jackson is proud to dedicate a street in honor of Dr. King on January 16, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the corner of Oak Street and First Stree
Historical Sites and Museums
Local Connection: Floyd Chapel Baptist Church Stockbridge is the ancestral home of the King family. Floyd Chapel Baptist Church was moved to its location at 104 First Street in Stockbridge in 1878. Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. worshipped in the original wooden building as a child with his mom, Delia Lindsey King. He also was ordained and preached his first sermon there. King Sr. went on to become pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
National Day of Service Activities
Hands-on Atlanta (Various Locations)
We Repair the World (Various Locations)
A Day on, Not A Day Off: How kids can serve from home on MLK Day
Want more ideas on how to give back to your community that you can do from home? Here are some age-appropriate ideas you can do from home:
Kindergarten - 2nd Grades
- Make cards or pictures for nursing home residents locally or find letter requests here!
- Fill Little Free Libraries or Little Free Pantries
- Package care bags for people without housing or otherwise in need
- Collect old towels and blankets and deliver to an animal shelter
3rd - 5th Grades
- Make easy, no-sew fleece blankets for children in local hospitals
- Collect and sort school supplies and create kits to benefit a local shelter or library
- Rake leaves or shovel snow for elderly or disabled neighbors
- Organize a sock drive and donate to those in need
6th Grade and Up
- Identify a charity walk or run to do in 2022
- Make and donate masks to local family shelters
- Start a club at your school that promotes volunteerism throughout the year
- Initiate a park clean up or beautification project
- Install a buddy bench at a school
Start a Family Discussion
- Why is peace important?
- How does racism effect people?
- How does it effect you?
- Would you be a non-violent leader? Why or why not?
- What are ten things that you can do to make the world a better place?
- If you could interview Dr. King, what questions that you would like to ask him?