• Helping Kids Rise

10 Meaningful Ways Children Can Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's Legacy

Updated: Jan 15


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world free of hate, prejudice, and violence. He spent most of his life in service to others One of the best ways to honor Dr. King is to give back to the community. There are many ways children can give back. These are just a few ideas to get you started.

1. Host a Canned Food Drive

Canned food drives encourage the community to get involved in helping one another. They also bring awareness to the needs of the community. Local stores will sometimes let you set up a box at the front of the store. Just reach out to a store manager for help.


2. Create Care Packages for the Homeless

Pinterest is full of easy ideas for creating donation bags for those in need. Pack the bags with snacks, hygiene items, books, etc. Many hotels will give soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Local stores are often happy to contribute as well.


3. Collect Books for Children in Need

We believe all children deserve access to high quality books. Unfortunately, all children don't have access to books. You could be the person that motivates others to get books to kids in need. Put a call out for books in your community and you're sure to find lots of people ready to participate. They just need a leader - YOU!


4. Create Music for Nursing Home Residents

Do you have a musical spirit? Music can be very uplifting. Compose a song or do a cover of a song that already exists, if possible, perform in person, if not, make a cd or digital copy and share your talents to brighten someone's day.


5. Invite a New or Loner Student to Eat Lunch With You

At the time of this post the world is facing a pandemic, so a face to face lunch may not be ideal. In the meantime, virtual lunches can be great too. Finding ways to reach out to others who might otherwise be alone, is a wonderful thing to do. We never forget the people who reach out to us when we need it most.


6. Learn About People Different From You

We live in an excitingly diverse world. Learning about people from various backgrounds and cultures helps us understand one another and is an easy way to build empathy and understanding for one another. Books are one of our favorite ways to learn about other people and cultures. Joining clubs, trying new restaurants, or just talking to others are all good choices too.


7. Collect Blankets for Shelter Animals

Shelters are safe haven for many animals who would otherwise be homeless and starving. These shelters are often run with very little funds and through the kindness of volunteers. They're often in need of donations. Helping out builds character.


8. Volunteer at a Food Bank

There are many families having a hard time making ends meet. They struggle to put food on the table. Food banks are a huge help to those families. Volunteering your time helps offset the costs of hiring staff, saving money for more food and other operating costs. It's another opportunity to build character and serve others.


9. Draw Pictures to Give to Nursing Home Residents

Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. By drawing pictures and sharing them with nursing home residents, you'd be sending the message that someone is thinking about them. That would mean a lot!


10. Collect Toys for Children's Hospitals

What kid doesn't love a great toy? Having to go to the hospital can be scary. A new toy can be the perfect distraction and spirit lifter.

ABOUT THE BOOK PICTURED ABOVE:

Art from the book I Have a Dream by Kadir Nelson

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation’s past. Order the book here.


Related Reading: Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Books



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