The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Not Just Another Day Off

January 15, 2018

While many students celebrate the three day weekend that comes with Martin Luther King Day annually, a number of Americans stop and realize the true significance of the holiday dedicated to the leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

Two veterans of the movement, Harris Wolford and John Lewis, created the National Martin Luther King Day of service in 1994. Wilford and Lewis led 3,000 people in 150 service projects on this day, encouraging the nation to treat the holiday as a day “on” rather than a day “off,” to help one’s community rather than relax.

Although this day off from school is often taken as an excuse for a weekend getaway, some students follow in King’s legacy.

“I’m doing Mitzvah Day this MLK day,” junior Shelby Wasserman said. “It’s an event where people who go to my temple get together to do good things for the community, like cleaning up beaches and planting trees.”

Advanced Placement Psychology teacher Amy Schaffer taught the true meaning of this holiday by encouraging students to search for volunteer options by presenting an informational video about the holiday. This video described the importance of serving the community on this holiday.

“I just wanted to inspire people because it’s important to do something,” Shaffer said. “And there’s tons of volunteering opportunities.”

With Martin Luther King Day approaching fast, volunteer opportunities may seem too hard to find. As a solution, typing “quick ways to find community service near me” into an internet browser opens up dozens of chances to volunteer.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides the website as a perfect way to find a quick way to make a difference. The corporation also suggests the AmeriCorps, an organization of over 80,000 Americans who commit their time and skills to better America.

“The Corporation for National and Community Service sponsor the MLK initiative as well as AmeriCorps,” Shaffer said. “You sign up [for AmeriCorps] and you’re volunteering and there’s different time commitments and you can get money for college.”

On this upcoming day off from school, make sure to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and get out into your community and make a difference.

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