Make it a Day ON, Not a Day Off
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2019 is Monday, January 21st. Americans began commemorating MLK Jr’s birthday through legislation in 1983 as a federal holiday, and it was decided to be the third Monday of every January. Instead of it being a day off, in 1994 Congress designated the federal holiday as a “National Day of Service” and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.
The Corporation states that the day is “intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Check out the links below for ideas for how you can have an impact by volunteering in your community!
The #MLKDayofService is a good reminder to all of us that we can give back to our community any day of the year, not just the third January of each February.
As a part of our mission statement, Suburban Testing Labs offers 16 hours of paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) as a part of our employee benefits. The purpose of this philanthropic program is to support activities that enhance and serve communities we live and work, and the issues that impact quality of life.
We asked some of our employees to share their experiences using VTO, and why the activity is important to them. Our employees inspire us not only with their hard work and diligence, but with the passion they share for giving back. Share your stories with us on our social media feed. Comment on our posts, or post with the hashtag #SuburbanGivesBack.
Lindsay Collins, Project Manager
I used VTO hours last year to volunteer at my local food bank with my church. I used to volunteer with a different food bank when I was in girl scouts, and found it very rewarding, and still do!
Chris Huesman, Laboratory Technician
I volunteered with cups of compassion on December 20. It’s an all-day event on Penn Street in Reading where they have a pop-up soup kitchen, free hamburgers, hotdogs, clothing, blankets, etc. I did it because I generally just like to help people that are less fortunate and when I feel like complaining about something that is very minor in the grand scheme of things, I think about how fortunate I am to have a nice warm house and plenty of food. A reporter from the newspaper actually interviewed me and my friend and was very impressed that our company gives volunteer time.
Rich Stump, President
I used VTO hours to volunteer as a WATCH D.O.G.S. dad at the Elementary School my children attend. D.O.G.S. stands for “Dads of Great Students.” The goal of the program is to provide male role models for students. I helped the teachers at drop-off, appeared on the morning announcements, helped on the playground, and in the lunchroom. I try to be very involved with my kids, but there were many kids I interacted with that seemed to really enjoy the interaction with a father figure that they may not have at home. It felt great to give back and participate.
Links to Volunteer Opportunities
- Find an MLK volunteer opportunity here: https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve/search#q=mlk%20day%20of%20service
- Planning an activity? Register it here: https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve/mlkdaygov/resources/register-mlk-project
- United Way Volunteer: https://www.unitedway.org/get-involved/volunteer#
- Opportunities for small kids around Philly: https://mommypoppins.com/kids/weekend-fun-for-philly-kids-jan-17-19-mlk-day-tributes-ben-franklins-birthday-and-orkid-days
- Involving Kids Ideas: https://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/martin-luther-king-jr-day-service/toolkits/other-resources-0