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MLK Day: A Day of Service

SAMartin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”. He highlighted the power of greatness that lives within each of us. Remember, no act of service is too small—as long as you’re making an impact.

Every third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) holiday is observed. Unlike other holidays, this is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage Americans to lend a helping hand to their neighbors. We are encouraged to “make it a day on, not a day off” to improve the communities we live and work in. We honor MLK Day because service to a cause greater than self is an important part of City Year’s culture and values.

As a City Year AmeriCorps member, I live by the notion of “service to a cause greater than self”. I feed off the joy of others and the gratitude I receive in lending a helping hand. To me, that is wealth. I don’t believe all of us are destined to be on the front lines of a crisis or discover a breakthrough in science, but I do believe that everyone has a unique gift to uplift humanity. When we realize this, we can truly elevate our own self. Service is important to me because of the deeper soul satisfaction I receive. As a City Year AmeriCorps Member, I know I’m bettering my community, helping others, and making an impact, all while improving my own self-being. Through my experience, the more I use my “gift” to help and guide others, the more I attract positive energy to receive what I want in life. As you consider the year ahead, I invite you to reflect on how you can make the most meaningful impact on others.

“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Service on MLK day can help enrich us all by bringing people together from various backgrounds while bettering the global community. Some of those acts of service may include delivering meals, beautifying neighborhoods and schools, or even signing a petition on a topic you would like to advocate for. Every one of us has the power to make a lasting impact through our rudimentary efforts.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought Americans together to help fight a common cause, which we are still honoring and fighting for around the world today. We are living in a time when small actions can make lasting impacts. Let us use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an example to reflect and re-commit to creating a more just society. By incorporating service into our lives, we can help make MLK’s dream come true. What steps will you take to influence change through actions to honor MLK’s teachings?

Seema Arshed
City Year Detroit AmeriCorps member

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