Fri, Feb. 21

Martin Luther King Day a chance to do for others

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

There are some holidays on the calendar that people don’t quite know what to do with if they are lucky enough to have the day off. Non-Italians are not quite sure what is expected of them on Columbus Day and non-commanders-in-chief have little to do on Presidents’ Day but sleep in.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day used to be one of those odd days. Folks felt they should maybe do something cultural or civil rights related - especially after the fight Arizona had establishing the day in the first place - but those were vague ideas.

Then a day of service began to catch on.

Not long ago, VISTA and AmeriCorp launched community service events on the Prescott side of the mountain to honor the memory of Dr. King. The Verde Valley is fortunate that this year this opportunity is coming here.

Monday, Jan. 17, the Beaver Creek area will be home to several chances to volunteer. People can help outside or inside. There are lots of things to do in the community, at Montezuma Well and at Beaver Creek School, which serves as headquarters, with registration and breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

After a week of calls for civility and creating a more perfect union, this opportunity is a great way to connect with friends, neighbors and complete strangers in serving the community.

It is clear from past experience with the annual Mitzvah Day based in the Sedona area that there are many, many people wiling and determined to commit acts of service all over the Verde Valley.

There is nothing quite like selfless service to others to forge bonds in a community. It can be hard work, but it can be fun. It is not just something to do on Martin Luther King Day; it is the best thing to do.

“We should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.” - President Barack Obama

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