The Best Ways to Give Back this Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is just around the corner, and here at Yelp, we like to think of this as a day of service rather than a day off work. MLK Day is an opportunity to do better and be better by honoring one of Dr. King’s pillars — serving others. Since the passage of the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994, MLK Day of Service has been a call for people from all walks of life to collaborate and work toward the improvement of our society. Service comes in many different forms. We’re excited to list a few, and hopefully inspire you to join your community in tackling societal obstacles through acts of service.

Take Part in Direct Community Service

Direct community service might be the most popular way to serve, and for good reason! Oftentimes you can see the immediate result of your efforts, and there are countless ways to get involved. For MLK Day and beyond, there are great organizations that help narrow down the opportunities available in your community:

Host Discussions + Raise Awareness

Dr. King had a vision that people, regardless of their background, could come together to navigate their current injustices and create plans to dismantle them.

Inspired by Dr. King’s message, Points of Light founded Sunday Suppers with the aim of sparking dialogue amongst communities and the issues that affect them. Their website welcomes you to “Pledge To Host” a Sunday Supper, and even provides a conversation guide. Sunday Suppers can take place during a meal, following a documentary, or as a reflection after a group volunteer activity.

Join a Nonprofit Board

Joining a nonprofit board sounds scary, but more often than not, nonprofits are looking to improve and need help to do so! When looking to join a board, always make sure to ask organizations a few things. What are the expectations of a board member? What are the biggest challenges they’re facing? What problems are they solving?

This will confirm if becoming a board member is a good fit for you as a long-term commitment, and if you have the skills they’re looking for. Heads up — you probably do!

As previously mentioned, there are many ways to go out and give back. Regardless of how you do it, or for how long, just remember that it’s something we should all strive to do. MLK Day of Service is a fantastic start to giving our communities continuous love and support. In the spirit of Dr. King:

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”