I didn't, until President-elect Barack Obama asked Americans to volunteer on MLK Day, and throughout the year.
Below are 5 ways you can get involved:
To promote and facilitate Americans being of service, the Obama team has launched usaservice.org. You can search for a service event on the site, or list your own.
You can also search for volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch, Idealist, Social Actions, Network for Good, 1-800 Volunteer.org, MLK.gov, servenet.org, Volunteer Solutions, and GuideStar.
2. Spread the Word
Let your network of friends, family and colleagues know that MLK Day is a day of service, and where they can search for volunteer opportunities.
Usaservice.org has a Faceboook Cause that you can join, share with friends, and feature on your profile.
Vicki of Zazengo shared more ways to spread the word in her Social Actions blog post, Help Promote MLK Day on Facebook + Zazengo.
3. Enter the YouTube Contest
Usaservice.org is also sponsoring a YouTube contest. Submit your video of 3 minutes or less telling the story of what you plan to do on MLK Day. Submissions are due by 11:59pm EST January 15th, 2009, so you don't have much time!
The winning videos will be featured on usaservice.org, and the creator of the best video will get a phone call from future First Lady Michelle Obama.
Usaservice.org has a blog (which unfortunately doesn't accept comments), where until January 19th they are featuring a wonderful range of guest blog posts. Here's who they've featured so far:
- Serving on King Day and Beyond by Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- Caring and Courageous Acts of Many by Paul Schmitz, the CEO of Public Allies.
- Perfecting Our Legacy: The Path of Spiritual Activism by Claudia Horwitz, Director of stone circles.
- Rooted In Faith: Being in the Mountain Moving Business by Jim Wallis, the President and Executive Director of Sojourners.
- The Greatest Antidote to Cynicism by Mario Morino, the Chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners.
- Living Your Best Life through the Journey of Service by Dr. Cheryl L. Dorsey, the President of Echoing Green.
- The Business of Service by Jonathan Greenblatt, the former CEO of GOOD Worldwide, the co-founder of Ethos Water.
The Inaugural Blog announced on Monday, "New Public Service Announcement Encourages Americans to Step Forward and Serve." You can watch President Elect Obama's message on YouTube, or below. There is a Spanish version available as well.
Michelle Obama also recorded a message asking people to volunteer in their community which you can watch on YouTube, or below:
I'm looking forward to seeing how usaservice.org evolves beyond MLK Day. Will you be volunteering this year? If so, how?
Cross-posted from BlogHer.com.