Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”. No longer just a day to honor Dr. King’s historic legacy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is now a National Day of Service, which means a number of chances to volunteer.
On January 15, you can join other families across New Jersey in answering the historic civil rights leader’s call to action by volunteering in your local community.
Of course, there are plenty of service opportunities for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day throughout the state — see below for several great options; In addition, visit our Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day page for a full listing of MLK Day events.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Where: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit
Details: The Arboretum is hosting two volunteer opportunities this year. Volunteers ages 14 and older can join the Arboretum’s horticulture staff from 9:00 am to Noon for a morning of outdoor work. Dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes and bring a refillable water bottle. Work gloves and water will be provided. Registration is required for this event. Visitors are also invited to stop by the Arboretum’s Education Center from 9:00 am to Noon and create a unique card from recycled materials. The cards will be delivered to patients in local hospitals on Valentine’s Day. This second activity is appropriate for all ages and does not require registration.
More info: www.reeves-reedarboretum.org or call 908-273-8787 x 1616
Scotch Plains/Fanwood MLK Day of Service
Where: Various locations
Details: Families are invited to the Opening Ceremony at 10:00 am at the Scotch Plains YMCA, during which the life of Dr. Martin Luther King will be honored with songs and celebration. In addition, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, volunteer opportunities are available at various locations throughout the town. However, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
More info: www.spfmlkday.wildapricot.org
Jersey Cares Annual MLK Day of Service
Where: Various locations throughout NJ
Details: The Jersey Cares Annual Day of Service gathers together over 1,700 volunteers in 20 different service projects across the state. For instance, participants will honor the legacy of Dr. King by painting school murals, tutoring children, serving hot meals, visiting senior citizens and organizing donations. Visit the website for a complete list of projects and to register.
More info: www.jerseycares.org or call 973-533-1993
Martin Luther King Day of Service
Where: Rutgers University, 326 Penn Street, Camden
Details: Volunteers, families and community members come together to participate in a day of action, both on the campus and in the surrounding areas. Check-in begins at 8:00 am, after which volunteers will head to various projects via buses provided by the university. The day concludes at 1:00 pm. Volunteer opportunities are open to students, alumni, faculty and staff of the university, as well as local community members. Registration is required for this event.
More info: www.camden.rutgers.edu
Stockton University’s Annual MLK Day of Service
Where: Various locations in Galloway, Hammonton, Manahawkin & Atlantic City
Details: Stockton University is hosting its 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Volunteer opportunities are available at all Stockton sites. The event is open to individuals, students and families; volunteers, however, must be willing to work a full day from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
More info: www.stockton.edu or call 609-652-4256.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Where: Charles W. Lewis Middle School, 875 Erial Road, Blackwood
Details: Join Mayor David Mayer and members of the township council by volunteering your time to fulfill Dr. King’s dream of helping others. The day begins at 8:30 am at the Charles W. Lewis Middle School and runs until Noon. Children are welcome to participate but must be accompanied by a parent. Moreover, a complete list of all service projects can be found on the township website.
More info: www.glotwp.com
Kinard Family Helping Hands, Feeding the Hungry
Where: Franciscan Park, 1 Ferry Street, Newark
Details: Kinard Family Helping Hands is celebrating its 5th MLK Day of Service at Newark’s Franciscan Park. From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, volunteers will provide a hot meal for the homeless, as well as distribute toiletries and clothing. There is no age limit for volunteers, however minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
More info: www.allforgood.org
MLK Day of Service
Where: Montclair State University, Montclair
Details: Students, alumni, faculty and local community members are invited to participate in a day of giving back. Volunteers can sign up for a variety of opportunities including sorting medical supplies, knitting blankets, making dog toys at a local animal shelter and assisting the elderly and adults with developmental disabilities. Likewise, volunteers will be provided with supplies and transportation. The event begins at 8:00 am at the Student Center and runs until 1:00 pm. Online registration is available.
More info: orgsync.com or call 973-655-5318
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Details: There are several different ways you can contribute to Bloomfield’s Day of Service. On Saturday, January 13th, volunteers can help with beautification projects at Demarest Elementary School from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm. In addition, baby items and non-perishable foods are being collected throughout the month of January. Donations will be accepted at town hall and the library, as well as local firehouses.
More info: www.dayofservice.nationbuilder.com or call 973-869-9816
Moorestown Ministerium Day of Service
Where: Trinity Episcopal Church, 207 West Main Street, Moorestown and Our Lady of Good Counsel-Heritage House, 122 West Main Street, Moorestown
Details: Children in the Moorestown area can also participate in a Day of Service. From 9:00 am to 11:00 am, children can take part in a “Happy Birthday Party” at Trinity Episcopal Church. Volunteers can bring items for birthday boxes, including cake mix and frosting, candles, plates, napkins, as well as small gifts. Birthday boxes will be assembled at the event and donated to Catholic Charities Emergency Services. From 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm, children can bring cans of food to the Our Lady of Good Counsel-Heritage House. Volunteers will assemble toiletry kits and enjoy a fun craft. They will then deliver donations and kits to local charities and food pantries. Each event features refreshments. This event requires registration.
More info: Visit http://trinitymoorestown.org
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Monkey Business / Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
Reeves-Reed Arboretum / Website
Jersey Cares / Facebook
Jersey Cares / Facebook
Bloomfield MLK Day of Service / Website