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Project Ideas

The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility. Here are some project ideas to fit various ambitions and community resources. And in each category, there is always room for your own ideas.

Recruit and Train Volunteers to Be:

  • Mentors
  • Tutors
  • Tax preparation assistants

Host discussions about

  • Dr. King's life and teachings
  • Dr. King’s principles of non-violence
  • Community challenges and ways to address them

Provide Job Readiness Training in:

  • Resume writing
  • Interview skills
  • Dressing for success

Provide Food Assistance:

  • Serve meals at a homeless shelter
  • Bring meals to homebound neighbors
  • Organize a food donation drive

Improve Children’s Quality of Life:

  • Build a playground
  • Run a day camp for children with working parents
  • Devise craft projects for children in hospitals

Provide Assistance to Families and Neighbors:

  • Help low-income families find free tax preparation services and take advantage of the earned income tax credit
  • Shovel elderly neighbors' walkways, clear leaves or help with other yard maintenance
  • Participate in or create a neighborhood watch program

Improve Health Outcomes:

  • Arrange a health fair
  • Organize a blood donor drive
  • Register bone marrow and organ donors

Beautify the Community:

  • Remove graffiti from a building and paint a mural
  • Create community green spaces by planting trees, grass, and flowers
  • Reclaim a park or abandoned space for community use

Prepare the Community for Emergency and Crisis Situations:

  • Distribute fire safety information and check for working smoke detectors
  • Make and distribute disaster preparedness kits
  • Host workshops on how to prevent foreclosure in communities disproportionately affected

Keep the Community Connected:

  • Create on-line and off-line community discussion forums. Get residents signed up for the on-line discussion and informed about the time and location of the off-line version.
  • Teach neighbors how to surf the Internet and use email
  • Make a public space accessible for the disabled neighbors
  • Develop your own ideas by considering your community’s particular needs


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