This past week, some members of our Netsmart D&I Council came together for some EveryDayMatters volunteer time in preparation for MLK Day. Our EveryDayMatters volunteer hours allow our Netsmart team the opportunity to follow our cause-connected mission and make a meaningful impact in our communities. Our D&I Council members gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park to spend some time cleaning up the area in his memorial. Not only did we do a park clean up, but we passed out hand and foot warmers, bottled water and socks to anyone we saw in need. By coming together as a group, we were able to honor Dr. King Jr's vision of creating wonderful communities in a space that was dedicated to his legacy.
As we reflect on our MLK Day of Service, we challenge our associates and those around us to spread awareness and take action.
Awareness: Legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nearly eleven years later, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off." On this day we take the time to educate ourselves on social justice, cultural inclusivity and have conversations on how we can take these lessons to make a change in our community for a better future.
Action: To honor a 'day on, not a day off' we encourage you to do an act of service. Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, breaks down barriers, creates solutions and brings people from different backgrounds together and benefits those who you choose to serve. By working together, we can make positive change.
This MLK Day, we have the unique opportunity to reflect on the gains we have made and re-commit ourselves to the work that remains as we strive for a more just society. We encourage you to check out some of the links below to learn more about Dr. King’s legacy and how you can serve others.
- Read a Letter from Birmingham Jail to learn insight from Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- Listen to the I Have a Dream speech calling for the civil and economic rights and the end of racism.
- Volunteer with a food bank, food pantry or start a fundraiser to create equitable access to food our communities by working with organizations like Feeding America, Food Pantries or your local community food network.
- Deliver meals and groceries to senior citizens, by reaching out directly to someone you know or contact your local Meals on Wheels to find out how you can help.
- Visit the AmeriCorps website to discover a range of local volunteer opportunities in your community.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.