Charlotte, like most cities across the country, will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday the weekend of January 14th-16th. His actual birthday is January 15th and the federal holiday is observed on January 16th. As Charlotte prepares to honor Dr. King’s legacy, it is a time not only for celebrating the Civil Rights activist, but also a time for service in our community. Below are ways to give back in honor of MLK day and beyond because the service and honor extends beyond one holiday weekend!!
Support the Harvey B Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture: The Gantt’s MLK Day celebration theme coincides with the Smithsonian’s “Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth,” which is currently on view at the Gantt and the Levine Museum of the New South. You can volunteer for roles like a program or workshop assistant on MLK Day. You can sign up to volunteer here.
Volunteer for Room in the Inn: Christ Church (along with over 100 other churches and organizations) provides emergency winter shelter for 12 unsheltered neighbors (men, women, and/or families). Parishioners offer hospitality to those who have no place to call home. This is a great volunteer opportunity for families, especially those with young children. You can sign up to volunteer here.
Volunteer at Roof Above, Opportunity House, Harvest Center: These organizations are committed to combatting homelessness through offering shelter, food, essential needs, and other community resources. They are always seeking volunteers, as it is through volunteers, they can serve the community.
Volunteer at Classroom Central: They empower teachers and students in nearly 200 schools across six Charlotte-area school districts, providing supplies and resources through our Free Store, Mobile Free Store and several other community-supported programs. As a volunteer, you can donate financially or through offering your time and talents through various options.
Learn and know Charlotte’s history: Volunteer with the Levine Museum of the New South as a tour guide for programs and events or clerical needs. You can sign up to volunteer here.
Help Charlotte’s jazz scene grow through JazzArts Charlotte: You don’t need to be a professional musician to assist JazzArts Charlotte. They’re looking for everything from help with fundraisers to researchers and writers to special event organizers. You can fill out their volunteer survey and find the perfect fit for volunteering here.
Inspire young Photographers: Calling all professional photographers! Creating Exposure Through the Arts (CEA) is an Arts & Science Council Culture Blocks program where high school-age students learn the ins and outs of photojournalism and visual arts. Their next program begins this weekend at the Eastway Regional Recreation Center and runs through March 4. You can reach out to them for ways to volunteer by filling out a contact us form!
Share your time with Novant Health’s Presbyterian Medical Center: Volunteers must be fully vaccinated and at least 14 years old. Opportunities include greeting patients and visitors and helping them navigate the medical center, pet therapy, veteran services, lobby music and home crafting.
Send love to a widow on Valentine’s Day: Ashley Manning, who owns Pretty Things by A.E. Manning is once again organizing a Valentine’s Day Widow Outreach. Widows are nominated by community members and volunteers assemble bouquets and gift bags for the nominees in the Charlotte area. Send an email to [email protected] for more details on volunteering.
Donate: Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day, but you can also financially support a cause dear to your heart.
- Donate to the Gantt Center here.
- Donate to United Way here.
- Donate to Roof Above here.
- Donate to Opportunity House here.
- Donate to Classroom Central here.
- Donate to the Levine Museum here.
- Donate to JazzArts Charlotte here.
- Donate to Creating Exposure Through the Arts here.
- Donate to the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation here.
- Donate to the Valentine’s Day Widow Outreach project here.