MLK Day Toolkit
Access our MLK Day Toolkit to find messaging, communication resources, social media, graphics, and more.
Project Ideas and Tips
Find self-starter project ideas, tips, and resources to get started planning your MLK Day project below. Remember to register your service project with us so we can help spread the word about your event and inspire others to serve. Find more resources and events from the King Center.
Recruit and Train Volunteers
Take advantage of this day off to train volunteers to serve throughout the year. They will leave prepared to be effective volunteers and help you accomplish your mission.
Host a Discussion
- Dr. King's life and teachings
- Dr. King’s principles of non-violence
- Host a discussion across generations
- Generations over Dinner: Honor Dr. King and host your own conversations over dinner (or other meal) that foster a sense of constructive action, civic participation, and belonging and combat the corrosive effects of hate on our democracy and safety. Learn more.
Assist with Job Readiness
Help people in your community get job ready:
- Resume writing
- Interview skills
- Dressing for success
- Research training programs
- Help individuals complete a job application or application for a training program
Address Food Insecurity
- Serve meals at a homeless shelter
- Bring meals to homebound neighbors and consider signing up to be a regular volunteer with local meal delivery services like Meals on Wheels
- Organize a food drive or even start or plan a community garden. When organizing a food drive make sure to check with the food pantry or food bank to see what’s needed and how you can be most helpful.
- Teach healthy eating on a budget
- Sign up for the End Hunger Challenge, a five-day online curriculum from the Congressional Hunger Center.
Promote Healthy Futures
- Help others get vaccinated or find a testing location
Do you know individuals who have not yet gotten a COVID-19 vaccine? You can serve others by helping them get vaccinated. Find tools to help you have a conversation, and use these resources to find a vaccine location near you or a COVID test.
- Arrange a health fair or dental clinic
- Organize a blood donor drive
- Register bone marrow and organ donors
- Organize a drug take back
- You can find a collection site near you. Click on the collection site locator and input your information.
Beautify the Community
- Remove graffiti from a building and paint a mural
- Create community green spaces by planting trees, grass, and flowers, especially in locations that may lack adequate green space
- Reclaim a park or abandoned space for community use
- Become a volunteer with a local, state, or national park
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 working sessions to help economically vulnerable citizens
- Share resources or apps that neighbors can use to help each other if disaster strikes
- Be your own first responder
- Check out tools and information about disaster and emergencies planning
Provide Other Community Service to Neighbors and Families
- 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
- Install smoke detectors or distribute batteries and install new batteries for those who have detectors. (Check with your local Red Cross and/or Fire Department to understand the greatest need.)
- Weatherize homes (Local churches may have a good idea of community members who need assistance.)
- Get free tools to help you run a coat or clothing drive in your community.
- Volunteer with the National Alliance to End Homelessness and participate in the Point-in-Time Count to help those experiencing homelessness in your community.
Help New Refugees
Learn how you can help refugees and take action on MLK Day.
Support Those Who Are Recovering from Disasters
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster serves as a clearing house for anyone who wants to help communities and individuals recover from disasters. Learn about what you can do.
Combat Climate Change
- Mulch the base of trees and plants
- Start a compost
- Tend a garden
- Develop a project to help your church or home conserve rain and stormwater.
- Educate about safer cleaning products for homes and other facilities.
- Insulate windows. WindowDressers provides free or low-cost inserts for volunteers to install in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts.
- Learn more about climate justice.
- Learn more about environmental justice projects and programs at the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Get more project ideas and tools:
King Day of Service Projects 2023
Thursday, Oct. 27
AmeriCorps and other King Day of Service champions will present project ideas to engage your organization, community, and friends and family in service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Project Ideas That Support Environmental Justice for the King Day of Service 2023
Wednesday, Nov. 3
AmeriCorps and other King Day of Service champions will present project ideas to engage your organization, community, and friends and family in environmental service to address environmental justice and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Media, Marketing, and Government Relations Tools for the King Day of Service 2023
Thursday, Dec. 1
AmeriCorps will present tools to support engaging elected officials and social media and other tools to align with the King Day of Service nationally while promoting your project and service locally.