Martin Luther King, Jr. himself once told an audience in Montgomery, Alabama in 1957 that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?‘”
The quote above became one of the memorable things that MLK, Jr. said on his all too brief time on this earth, though the majority of his words were full of inspiration. They serve as a reminder to think of ideas on how we, along with the younger members of our family, can give back.
If you’ve been looking for a day to start thinking of ways to give back to your community, there is no better day than Martin Luther King Day, as we celebrate and reflect on MLK, Jr.’s legacy.
Here’s a list of 9 ways you and your family can give back – today and all year long:
MLK Day is a great time to start donating blood. Students often need to have parental consent, so if you’re in the U.S., check your state guidelines. Contact the American Red Cross to help save a life, or many lives or help run a blood drive in your local community.
Collect coins to give money to those who need it most
Place a glass or bottle in the kitchen and request that your children put their change in weekly to donate to a local charity, or one that supports the causes you and your family care about. Call it your “charity box”. Two causes we love: Shot@Life, a movement that protects children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. CARE is operating four refugee centers in Jordan, and are helping refugees with cash assistance for rent and food. You can support their efforts with an online donation or by donating by phone at 1-800-521-CARE.
Run a race to help children who are struggling around the world
Save the Children has an international endurance program that provides athletes the opportunity to take on a personal challenge while raising funds for our programs. Run with your kids! Get them involved in providing a better future for our children.
Have an early spring cleaning and help kids living in poverty
Collect your gently used clothing and other household items to donate to Room to Grow, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development.
Sponsor a vulnerable child
World Vision’s Child Ambassadors create incredible impact by initiating opportunities to share child sponsorship with others in our own communities – however and whenever it best fits our lives. Most Child Ambassadors do this through one-on-one conversations during their day-to-day lives. Others work within their churches, civic organizations, or businesses to give presentations, host events, and set up booths. Sponsor a child today, and share the responsibility with your kids.
Help an American family living in profound poverty with a monthly box of groceries.
Teach your kids about the struggle of hunger by directly providing assistance to a family. Your monthly donation, or a box of food you provide locally, can ensure that a family living in poverty gets the food they need the last week of every month, when food stamps often run out. Family-to-Family will also send you details about the family you’re helping.
Contact your lawmakers to help empower girls globally
Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives girls around the world the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for UN programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Want to help girls around the world achieve a higher quality of education? Speak up! If you live in the U.S., tell your member of Congress to cosponsor the Protecting Girls’ Right to Education in Vulnerable Setting Act (H.R.5735) championed by Representative Steve Chabot. Find more details here.
March for Babies
The March of Dimes helps moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. If something goes wrong, they offer information and comfort to families. You and your kids can test your endurance at a local March for Babies event with a community of runners dedicated to fighting premature birth and other life threatening challenges that newborns face. Head over to runforbabies.org for more information.
Choose a cause to support together
Every mother in the world wants the same thing: a healthy pregnancy, a safe birth, and a baby who will thrive. For millions of moms, basic healthcare and services are out of reach. Our partners work tirelessly every day to increase access to life-saving medicine, vital nutrition, education, and opportunities to empower women and lift up communities. Read up on them and get your kids involved in their work.
Take Action Challenge
Find out how nine of our very own #GlobalMoms are giving back and getting their own kids involved – ideas and inspiration here: bit.ly/2i0yfrs.