articles

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. With a Day of Service in KC

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 17

January 11, 2022

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. 17 in 2022 — 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. 





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. 

With that in mind, here's a great service opportunity with KC Parks for families:


MLK Day of Service - MLK Corridor/Brush Creek Greenway Beautification

January 17, 2022
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Choice of check-in locations: Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center or MLK Jr. Park
*Cleanup will be cancelled if it is 32 degrees or below.

Everyone is invited to serve together immediately following the 8th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nature Walk hosted by Heartland Conservation Alliance, KC Parks, and Missouri State Parks. We are teaming with Disabled But Not Really and community volunteers to clean up litter along the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Corridor. Focus areas include the boulevard, Brush Creek Trail, and Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Register here.



How kids can help ... from home

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

6th Grade and Up

  • Participate in charity walks or runs
  • Foster a pet as a family
  • 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