Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday marking the birthday of King and his dream to eliminate social and racial injustice in America. It also marks
In 1983, legislation was signed by President Ronald Reagan creating a federal holiday honoring King. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.
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.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the president’s national call to service initiative.
It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
This is a grand vision, and a ground-breaking concept.
Other federal holidays honoring titans of our nation’s past consist of days off from school or work, and that’s about it.
MLK Day is different. Through the Day of Service, there is a chance to not only remember the legacy of the great civil rights leader, but also perpetuate his lofty goals.
This hits close to home.
This month, Volunteers in Action of Great Bend is working on a “Reading is Freedom” project. Through a grant from the Kansas Volunteer Commission, VIA ordered $1,500 in books for Barton County and Larned elementary school libraries. Volunteers, some of whom are in high school, will help sort and deliver books to the school and in some cases, read to some of the classrooms.
Some of the books will be about King. Some will not. But the idea is to first, promote public service, but secondly get books into the hands of children.
This worthwhile cause deserves our utmost attention and involvement.
For it is through this act of reading and learning that ignorance will be quashed. Then, King’s dream of total equality can be realized.