Top Reasons to Volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By: Brittany Jezouit, Bryce Poeter, and Paula Katrina Drago

For almost 30 years, Americans have recognized the third Monday in January as a national holiday to honor the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Over time, this event has evolved into a day of service; a time to reflect, to help others, and to connect with the greater community. Habitat for Humanity has a long-standing involvement with the MLK Day of Service, and the early years of MLK Day included a “signature project” restoring Habitat homes.

What will you be doing on January 20th, 2014, in honor of MLK Day?

Here are our top reasons to spend your Monday volunteering:

1. Volunteering is good for your health.

Recent studies have found that volunteers have lower levels of stress, depression, blood pressure, and lower mortality rates than individuals who do not volunteer.


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2. Keep the holiday spirit of giving alive even when the holidays are over.


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3. Everyone else is doing it.

In 2013, hundreds of thousands of people participated in service projects across the nation on MLK Day, and in 2012, 109 Habitat affiliates participated in MLK Day service projects.


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4. Learn a new skill.


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5. Honor Dr. King’s Legacy and be great.

In the words of Dr. King, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”

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6. Get involved in your community.


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7. Be productive.

Don’t spend another day off in your pajamas watching Netflix!


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8. You can volunteer with your friends and make new ones.


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9. With a 3-day weekend, you’ll still have a full weekend to have fun and decompress from the week.

It’s the perfect chance to add a day of service without taking away from the rest of your life.


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10. Experience a new part of your city.


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11. Helping people. Make a difference and change people’s lives.

Dr. King believed that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” When you volunteer, you can answer this question and feel good about what you’ve accomplished.


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What are you waiting for? Find an MLK Day service project in your area by visiting www.mlkday.gov and get things done!

DC Habitat believes that everyone deserves a house they want to call home. That's why we work to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness in the nation's capital by building (and rehabilitating) affordable, energy- and resource-efficient homes for people in need.