To honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Montgomery County Volunteer Center is hosting several community-oriented volunteer events. The family friendly events will be held on MLK holiday, Jan. 15, and will give county residents an opportunity to learn about the work of various nonprofit organizations in the region and get involved with helping members of the community. The largest volunteer site is the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, located at 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, which will feature a volunteer fair and many service activities. These activities will run from 1 to 3 p.m.
There will be several opportunities to contribute throughout MLK weekend. Volunteer activities include making toys for animals in the shelter, park cleanup projects, food drives, letter writing for seniors and members of the armed service, and making hand warmers for the homeless. Students interested in participating can receive student service learning hours for their contribution. If anyone is unable to attend the festivities on the 15th, Manna Food Center will be hosting food drives across the county on Saturday and Sunday, the details are available on https://www.mannafood.org/. For more information and to register for a project site or the volunteer fair, visit www.montgomeryserves.org.
Bruce Adams, director of the county Office of Community Partnerships, wants to turn MLK day into a “day on, not a day off.” He encourages people to question what King would think about the way that people generally spend the MLK holiday. Last year more than 4,000 people showed up to lend a hand and help others. Adams notes that this is a great opportunity for families to expose their children to service learning and the legacy of King. Adams says that people planning to attend “don’t need to bring anything but a good attitude.” The emphasis here is on lending a hand and building a stronger community.