On August 3, 1965, 10,000 people gathered at 40th Street and Lancaster Avenue to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak during a stop on his legendary “Freedom Now” tour. Today, that stop is enshrined with a bronze bust of King and an historical marker placed on a pedestrian island. In the background is a gorgeous mural of King during that speech overlooking the intersection.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is recognized as a national day of service, and people volunteer their time and effort to help better their community and the lives of those less fortunate. If you’re looking to volunteer some time, why not double down on your commitment to bettering the world, and use public transit, bike, or walk to get there.
Many GoPhillyGo destinations have volunteer events on or around MLK Day, January 15th this year. You can volunteer to help maintain trails at a park, or donate artwork to be distributed along with healthy food for people with life threatening illnesses. We put together a list of some of our favorite destinations that have volunteer events for MLK Day. Use GoPhillyGo to get there, and make your day of service commute fun and sustainable.
Artwork for MANNA
January 15, 10am to 3pm
Create artwork that will be collected by MANNA, a local non-profit that distributes food to people suffering from life threatening illnesses. The artwork will be donated with their meals. Your artwork will bring joy and accompany some much needed healthy food to sick people. Admission to the museum is pay what you wish on MLK Day, and this program is free once you’ve paid to get in. You can also sit in on a youth-focused conversation about how MLK’s legacy can inspire today’s social movements.
Restoration Volunteer Workday
January 20 10am to 12pm
Help maintain the trails and improve the well being of all the plants that grow in the forest. Volunteers will help remove invasive species and replace them with native plants. Make sure you wear work clothes, and SCEE will provide gloves, tools, instruction, and snacks. Just bring your own water bottle.
January 13 9am to 12pm
Volunteers will meet at the visitor center, before heading out with professional “weed warriors” to find and remove invasive plant species. Native species will be planted in their place to help foster a better environment for the plants and a better food source for the wildlife living in the refuge.
MLK Day of Service Project
January 15, 10am to 1230pm
Meet at the gazebo, and be a part of a team of volunteers helping to clear brush, fallen timber, and trash from natural areas and the shoreline. Volunteers will also have the chance to rake and shovel some of the more natural trails in the park. All ages and skill levels are encouraged to join.
Trash Clean Up
January 15, 10am to 12pm
Bristol Marsh is a great natural oasis along the Delaware River, but rain and melting snow deposit trash and waste into its waters. Join a team of volunteers to help remove debris and trash from the marsh, and help maintain one of the last remaining freshwater tidal marshes in our region.
MLK Day Of Service
Jan 15, 10am to 1pm
Come out to Tacony Creek Park and spend some time cleaning up trash and debris from the trails and along the creek. At 12pm volunteers will be invited inside New Life Church across the street for a free pizza lunch and a watershed environmental education lesson led by TTF Watershed and the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory.