Volunteering Holiday – MLK Day is Coming!

10Jan10

Wow, I can’t believe I let the holidays come and go and I forgot to write about my fun volunteering experience during the holiday season! More on that later in the post.

Speaking of holidays, Martin Luther King Jr Day is one of my favorites because it doubles as a Day of Service for a lot of people and communities. In fact, last year’s King Day of Service was the biggest ever. Here in Atlanta, 24,000 volunteers served across 50 projects!

Have you found your project yet for next week? Hands On Atlanta leads the charge in organizing volunteering efforts for this holiday here in the metro area. They’ll be holding a Freedom Rally at Morehouse School of Medicine at 8:30 on the morning of the holiday, followed by everyone dispatching for a variety of projects around the area starting at 10:30. If you’ve got the day off and are looking to give back, there are still a few projects that need hands. They don’t seem to have nearly as many projects as in past years associated with King Day of Service, but maybe that’s my imagination? I haven’t really heard much about other organizations that are doing any big organized effort for MLK Day of Service here in Atlanta, but will keep my eyes peeled and report back (most likely on DoinGood’s Twitter account).

Unfortunately, I don’t have the day off from work to participate in any projects taking place next Monday. I guess I could grumble about how ridiculous/unfair/hypocritical I think that is…or I could spend some time trying to find some sort of service opportunity to participate in next week. I choose Door #2, so hit me up with volunteer opportunities going on next weekend!

As far as the holiday season that just passed us, the most memorable experiences for me were in helping out For The Kid In All Of Us with their annual Toy Party. Helping with the set-up early in the day was fun and a little eye-opening to see how much care the organizers put into each little detail. I also appreciated that they fed the early volunteers some lunch. I went back to AmericasMart later that night for the actual Toy Party itself, which was pretty crazy. Gorgeous people everywhere! I spent most of my time up in VIP where I was greeting guests, keeping the area comfortable for them (that is to say, trash duty), canoodling with new friends, and admiring the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. The party brought in over 4,500 toys and gift cards at last count, which I helped with sorting a few days post-party. It was truly amazing to see the generosity of Atlanta…and we had everything sorted in under an hour! I will definitely volunteer with For The Kid again – it’s a great cause and I met some really great people.

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