Did you resolve to make a difference in 2017?

Plan now for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

 Are you resolving to make a difference in 2017? Plan now to make good on that resolution by getting started with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 16, 2017 and begin reaping the benefits of volunteering. Make this a day of action to live up to your potential to make a difference in the world. Your gesture can be big or small; they all add up to making a difference.

Did you know that Congress designated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as an actual day of service in 1994 and that it is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service? According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, it empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community”.

How can you be a part of this great event? Make a pledge to service for not just one day, but throughout the year by resolving to dedicate your time and talents to serve in your community. Kick up your commitment to service and consider pledging a few hours a month as a mentor, 4-H volunteer, Master Gardener, classroom helper, or at a local non-profit. Volunteers come from all walks of life and serve in a variety of capacities for organizations. Consider how you can make a difference today.

Make your plans now to guarantee success. Think about where you want to volunteer; it could be a local charity, food pantry, with a neighbor, friend or favorite organization. Get a group of friends or co-workers together to increase the fun and the impact of your efforts. Consider what will you do to make a difference? Collect items, donate time, provide services, help with an event – the possibilities are endless and children and adults can all be involved. When you have it all figured out, take time to let others know about your activity and register your MLK Day event to help others know about your project.

Don’t let service be a one day event; let this day be the beginning to your journey in service and keep the momentum going by planning your next adventure as a great way to celebrate life. Vary the events and cause and you might just meet some new friends, learn new skills and have a blast along the way. Service is a gift we give our community and ourselves; sharing truly is caring.

More than 17,000 4-H volunteers share the best of who they are across this state every year through Michigan State University Extension, helping to ensure that 4-H youth have the opportunity to experience the best life has to offer. Community service is just part of that journey. Volunteers serve in a variety of roles including club leaders, fair judges, camp helpers, teaching workshops, serving as mentors and coaches and more. The titles they have are endless and the jobs they do are priceless; they make a difference in the lives of our young people, equipping them with the life skills they need to thrive and survive in today’s world. Will you be someone who makes the difference? 

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