Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Groups offer volunteer opportunities for families on MLK Day

Posted January 13, 2015
Updated January 15, 2015

Children's books

If your kids are like most around here, it's likely they have Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Around the country, people will take the day to volunteer their time to make their communities a little better and a little brighter. And there are opportunities here in the Triangle for kids to help out.

I wrote about the United Way of the Greater Triangle's Day of Service last month. Now in its 10th year, the Day of Service lines up volunteer opportunities across the Triangle for all ages on or around MLK Day. The slots fill up pretty quickly, but the folks at the United Way tell me that, at last check, there were some spaces open for kids and their families. These are projects for both kids and parents to do together.

Here are some opportunities with spots remaining:

  • The Red Cross is looking for 150 volunteers, ages 10 and up, to help install 500 smoke alarms in Wake County.
  • SEEDS in Durham is looking for volunteers ages 6 and up who can help with garden preparation, harvesting and weeding.
  • The Triangle Land Conservancy is looking for volunteers ages 10 and up to help with trail building and maintenance in Durham County.
  • And the Johnston County Signature Project could use volunteers ages 10 and up for its Community Reads project.

The United Way's Day of Service website has more information, including registration details, for these and other projects.

But the day extends beyond individual efforts on Monday. For those of us who can't volunteer on Monday or have young children, the United Way is working to promote a Season of Service, which runs Jan. 20 to Feb. 28. During this time, families are encouraged to run a food drive, book drive or community baby shower.

The United Way has collection points every Friday. So you can drop the items off. The United Way will make sure they get to the right people and organization.

These could be fun, easy and meaningful activities for families, youth groups, neighborhood friends, playgroups, sports teams and more.

The United Way's website has more information about how you can get involved in these efforts.

Book Harvest in Durham also is having a big event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Organizers hope to collect 40,000 books that day as part of the group's annual book drive on MLK Day. The afternoon includes mascots and activities for kids. Book Harvest's website also has a took kit for families interested in holding a book drive to collect books before Monday's event.

Kids can help pack food for Backpack Buddies and make handmade blankets for local hospitals and shelters with Project Linus at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. The museum's Community Heroes Day is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday. It also features visits with community heroes such as firefighters, teachers and veterinarians. It's free with admission, which is $5 per person.

And don't forget the MLK Day birthday party and event at Northgate Mall in Durham for kids and families on Monday. Participants are asked to bring nonperishable food, toiletries and socks and underwear.

And for more volunteer opportunities for families on Monday and 2015, check Activate Good's website, which lists needs that families can fill.

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  • arfamr1010 Jan 15, 2015

    MLK...a day to remember the promise and mourn the epic failure of the AA community today