Giving Back – MLK Day of Service

Written by Lisa Assenmacher, Communications and Training Specialist

Honoring MLK Day of Service
Honoring MLK Day of Service

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.


In the face of adversity, Martin Luther King Jr. spent his life devoted to change: change in the way that we see and treat each other. Change in the way that we act within our communities. MLK symbolizes hope for equality and a better life for all mankind.

As we all know, MLK Jr. died as a result of hatred and violence. However, his message resonates with people across generations and his legacy prevails with hope.

We continue to struggle and fight for equality, poverty elimination and access to basic human rights. Working together and for one another, there is opportunity for survival, empowerment and success. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that and so do the millions of people who integrate volunteerism, service and community into their daily lives to help our fellow mankind. Through every action, we impact those around us.

AmeriCorps LogoAmeriCorps members are examples of people spending a full year living this mantra. AmeriCorps is a national program with members hosted at nonprofits, schools, public agencies and community and faith-based groups to engage in grassroots community advancement. Among the different ways they provide service throughout the year, many AmeriCorps groups plan projects in honor of MLK Day of Service, held on the national holiday each year.

“Get a Poke, Give a Pint” Community Blood Drive

The Power of We Consortium AmeriCorps State Program, along with partners NorthWest Initiative and Michigan Blood, is hosting this blood drive to focus on bringing awareness about the lack of diversity in the blood supply and how this negatively affects African Americans suffering from sickle cell disease.

Details: Monday, January 20 from 10 am – 4 pm at Grace Lutheran Church located at 528 North Martin Luther King Blvd, Lansing, MI 48915. More information can be found on the facebook event page and by downloading this flyer (.pdf).

The Power of We Consortium’s AmeriCorps State program focuses on three goals to reduce chronic disease for Lansing-area residents: 1) educating community members of all ages about healthy lifestyles, 2) reducing obesity and food insecurity through food distributions and gardening programs, and 3) promoting affordable exercise options. More information can be found on their website and facebook page.

Greater Lansing Food Bank Food Sorting

The Greater Lansing AmeriCorps Network is hosting a volunteer event with the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Volunteers will help sort and package food that will be distributed to families in the Ingham County area.

Details: Monday, January 20 from 10 am – noon at the Greater Lansing Food Bank located at 2116 Mint Rd, Lansing, MI 48906. Please RSVP to as space is limited.

The Greater Lansing AmeriCorps Network is a professional development group that focuses on bringing together current AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps Alums and AmeriCorps supporters around expanding skill sets and fostering a lifetime of service. The group hosts brown bag lunch networking, service projects and social events all year. For information on upcoming events, please join the facebook group or email to be put on the email notification list.

There are other ways to get involved on MLK Day of Service across Michigan. Formal and organized projects in your area can be found on the official website. Remember, it doesn’t take much to create a lot of impact, but a little bit of hope and action can create a lot of change.