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Where to Volunteer in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service

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Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

As the federal holiday gives many a three-day weekend, organizations across the city are planning to honor Martin Luther King's legacy by offering the public volunteer opportunities. King lived his life serving others, making Martin Luther King Jr. Day an important chance to volunteer. All events below are free, but many require registration.

Thursday Network and Serve DC's MLK Day Blanket and Toiletries Drive

When: Jan. 13 and Jan. 15, first shift begins at 10 a.m.
Where: Franklin D. Reeves Municipal Center, Washington, D.C.

Make sandwiches, drive goods or donate a number of essential items including unused hats, socks, deodorant and feminine hygiene products while supporting homeless individuals in the District. You can sign up on Eventbrite, by either choosing to make sandwiches, be a distribution driver or bring a much-needed item and pack boxes.

Rock Creek Conservancy Martin Luther King Weekend of Service

When: Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, times vary
Where: Various places around Rock Creek Park in D.C. and Maryland

Events scheduled throughout the weekend include saving trees and cleaning streams in the Rock Creek watershed.

ConSERVE DC: MLK Day Service at Anacostia Park

When: Jan 15, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Anacostia Park, Washington, D.C.

Volunteers will help clean up litter along the Anacostia River and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Long pants, sturdy shoes and a water bottle are recommended. Gloves and supplies will be provided in addition to breakfast at 9 a.m.

MLK Day of Service

When: Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Friendship Public Charter School - Armstrong Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

City Year considers MLK Day as a day “on” not “off”. The education nonprofit focuses on turning schools into more engaging and vibrant environment for students. Service activities will include painting murals, kit-making and construction projects. Registration is required.

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Food Drive

When: Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Giant Food stores throughout Montgomery County

Volunteers will collect food donations from customers and promote the food drive at Giant Food stores for Manna Food Center. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult that is 21 or older.

Martin Luther King Day of Service with Montogmery Parks

When: Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Locust Grove Nature Center, Bethesda, Maryland

Volunteers will help improve the grounds and assist with eco-friendly projects. Work gloves and tools will be provided. The event is free for all ages but advanced registration is preferred.

Give Together 2018: A Family Volunteer Day

When: Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia

The ninth annual event gives families an opportunity to give back to the community by working with various nonprofits in the region. All service projects are targeted toward elementary-aged children. Projects include those involved with animals, foster care, education and poverty. There are four shifts available: 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Potomac Stewards Cleanup

When: Jan. 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Jones Point Park, Alexandria, Virginia

Wear closed-toes shoes and a warm coat to clean up one of Alexandria's waterfront areas. Warm drinks will be provided, and you can sign up on Eventbrite.

Pope Branch Park Cleanup

When: Jan. 15, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Pope Branch Park-Fairlawn Avenue and M Place, SE

Volunteers will help remove trash along the creek, streets and surrounding neighborhood. Supplies and water will be provided. Warm clothing is recommended since this is an outdoor event.

Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

When: Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: 1550 Anacostia Ave NE, Washington, DC 20019

Remove English ivy from trees and tidy up D.C.'s Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. You can register in advance or on the day of volunteering between 9 a.m. and 9:15 p.m.

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