25 challenge

17 01 2011

The time is always right to do what’s right.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from a 1964 speech at Oberlin College

While looking up service project information for MLK Day, I came across the MLK 25 Challenge, described herein:
To mark the 25th anniversary of the King Holiday, and to encourage ongoing service throughout the year, we are launching the MLK 25 Challenge – a call to all Americans to honor Dr. King by pledging to take at least 25 actions during 2011 to make a difference for others and strengthen our communities.
From something as simple as cleaning a neighborhood park to a more intensive commitment such as becoming a mentor, the key is to give of yourself in some way to help others. You may want to volunteer in a range of efforts, or make a sustained commitment to a single cause. There is no shortage of work to be done, or lack of ways to get involved. Follow your passion, and find something that’s right for you.

Fun, yes? I think so, although as a mama with a toddler, it is a little mind-boggling trying to schedule/manage service commitments. I love hands-on work, but that’s challenging to find with childcare compatibility. So I have to tweak ‘service’ a bit. Thankfully the website had a useful checklist to get ideas rolling, and several ideas were already on my Year of Lovely Things list. So with rash optimism, here is my own MLK 25 Challenge list:

Support our local food bank : done – Mar
Help build a house with our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate
Donate some of the old-and-never-going-to-fit-again office clothes : done – Jan
Support a local blood drive: give blood or assist with childcare
Help build a playground (maybe with a non-profit like KaBoom?)

Volunteer on at least one of the National Service Days
Knit another helmet liner & donate it for active military personnel
Replace all household light bulbs with energy efficient ones : done – Feb
Support sustainable community agriculture: volunteer on a local farm
Participate in a school beautification project

Participate in a local book drive : done – Feb
Serve as a tutor
Volunteer or donate books to our local library : done – Mar
Volunteer with ESL classes for adults
Support a winter coat/clothes drive

Serve on a local non-profit’s board of directors
Renew first aid, CPR & disaster response certifications
Volunteer with a clean-up event at one of the local, state, and/or national parks that we regularly visit
Support disaster preparedness in our community: figure out our local emergency shelters & evacuation routes, then spread the word to friends & neighbors
Organize a charity knitting event benefiting our local hospitals and/or shelters

Support our local Child Advocacy Center
Organize a bake/toy sale benefiting a local charity/non-profit (like this one – by a 2nd grader!)
Support public radio : done – Jan
Support public television : done – Jan
Organize a caregiver-and-baby/toddler exercise group

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known for his leadership in the U.S. civil rights movement. He was also an activist against the U.S. Vietnam war, against nuclear proliferation, against poverty, and especially against waiting for social justice. He championed non-violent social change – a radical idea for his times, and often still in ours.




5 responses

17 01 2011


So I copied it, and sent it out to my Den’s parents and asked for thoughts and opinions. 22 emails of praise and ideas so far!

17 01 2011

How fun! The boys & their families might really enjoy participating in a KaBoom! playground build, if there’s one in the area – check their website. They’ve been doing tons of school & park projects in the Gulfcoast region since Katrina, and I did a lot of builds with them in New Orleans. Extremely well-organized and kid-friendly service, plus fun & more muscley things available for older sibs & parents.
Also, if they like the lightbulb project – that can be a neighborhood/enviromental service activity – and Adele is a great contact for Project Greenlight.
If you email me know what areas/types of projects they’d like to focus on, I may be able to share other regional contacts & orgs (or course, you may not need them as you are already awesome about finding resources yourself).

20 01 2011

I would welcome and and all resources and ideas. Even if the scouts aren’t in on it. Raising money for World Vision had really sparked something in bug man, and he wants to raise alot of money for a few different causes in it. I think branching out into our area causes will be extremely beneficial and awesome.

17 01 2011

I did not know about this! Thanks for coming out of hiding and posting a comment, which directed me to your site. I work for a family resource center and will be offering the 40 Developmental Assets training this spring, to help people in my community look at the many small ways they can be positive mentors for youth. One of my commitments this school year has been so sit with the youngest elementary school children one or more lunch periods, eating their same lunch and just listening and talking with them.

18 01 2011

What a great project! Thanks for sharing!

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