"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. Now, for the second year, the Verde Valley has the chance to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Monday, Jan. 16, 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, at the golf course, at Beaver Creek School, at the homes of the homebound and at the Beaver Creek Adult Center, which serves as headquarters, with registration and breakfast at 9 a.m.
This opportunity is a great way to connect with friends, neighbors and complete strangers in serving the community. At don't forget this year, at High Noon, there will be a march on Main Street in Camp Verde in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an event organized by 6-year-old Chandler Plante.
It is clear from last year's Day of Service and from 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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