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National Day of Service - MLK Day

Updated: Jan 16

The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Day of Service is a time when Americans step up to make communities more equitable and take action to create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to take action to improve their communities.

On Monday, Jan. 16, and the days surrounding, MHA invites you to participate in one or more of opportunities below:

  • The annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count is a national effort undertaken once a year by professionals and volunteers to estimate the number of Americans who don’t have safe and stable housing. United Way of the Plains and its partner agencies will work with volunteers to conduct the 2023 Point-In-Time Homeless Count for the Wichita and Sedgwick County area on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • MHA Hat and Glove Drive. We will be collecting new hats, and gloves throughout the month of January to deliver to MHA consumers in need and homeless shelters in Wichita. Collection boxes are located at the Woodlawn, Countryside, and Downtown Offices.

Without Leaving Home

  • Volunteer to transcribe historical documents through the Smithsonian Digital Volunteer program.

  • Help seniors feel less lonely. Letters Against Isolation serves thousands of seniors in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, and Israel.

  • The Library of Congress also has a transcription program with By the People. Founded in 2018, By the People is a volunteer initiative to improve search, readability, and access to handwritten and typed documents for everyone, including people who are not fully sighted.

  • Volunteer to answer questions from students who want to work in your field when they grow up.'s mission is to democratize career readiness by giving professionals a platform to give career information and advice to underrepresented youth.

Other Ideas

  • Make Hygiene Kits for the Homeless - Homeless people struggle to obtain basic necessities to wash their hands and brush their teeth. Organize your group to collect hotel samples or purchase travel-sized items from a dollar store to complete the kits.

  • Remember Service Men & Women - Send care packages to deployed troops, veterans, and wounded soldiers. Write a letter of gratitude for their service and include snack and personal care items. Check out Operation Gratitude and Give 2 The Troops organizations to learn where to send your care packages.

  • Best Face Forward - Collect unused make-up, perfume, and other cosmetics for a center for abused women.

  • Fight Childhood Diseases - Work together with your local health department to set up an immunization day or clinic to immunize children against childhood diseases. Help promote the event, pitch in to set up and assist with administrative work.

  • Bring A Smile to the Homeless - Fill a pair of new socks with granola bars and bottles of water to give to homeless men and women you pass on the street.

  • Pitch In For the Elderly - Organize your group to rake leaves, shovel snow, or do housework for elderly neighbors. If you don’t have an elderly neighbor, consider a senior citizens neighborhood community.

  • Adopt A Park - Decide on a park to adopt. Grab some trash bags and pick up trash to beautify the park. Getting outside to care for the environment is a great way spend a few hours.