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Places to Volunteer On MLK Day

MLK day is an official day of service. Here's what you should do with the kids.


Here’s what you should do on MLK Day

In 1994, congress designated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day an official day of service, honoring the legacy and life’s work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Get the family involved and make a difference in your own community by spending this January 18 volunteering. To find organizations that need your help, enter your town or zip code into the search tool on mlkday.gov, or check out these great New Jersey-based events and organizations: 

MLK Day of Service

Reeves-Reed Arboretum

165 Hobart Ave., Summit

856-225-1766; reeves-reedarboretum.org

Kids 3–13 years old can get creative by making greeting cards out of recycled material in "Reuse, Recycle, Reach Out," that will be donated to a local hospital for Valentine's Day from 9 am–12 pm. The older set (ages 14 and up) can give the arboretum's staff a hand at "Clearing Their Way For Spring," where they'll be getting the site ready for the spring season.

MLK National Day of Service at the Farm & Open Pony Party

Allaire Community Farm

2480 Allaire Rd., Belmar

732-859-1511; allairecommunityfarm.org

Spend your day off by giving back to the farm community with the kiddos. Children get to lend a helping hand by helping tend to the animals and completing daily chores. There's also opportunities for skilled workers to help out. 

Rutgers-Camden Martin Luther King Day of Service

Rutgers-Camden Campus Center

326 Penn St., Camden

856-225-1766; camden.rutgers.edu

If you're looking to dive into several volunteer programs on Monday, the Rutgers-Camden campus is hosting a slew of events for families with kids 5 and up. Registrations begins at 8 am and programs run from 9:45 am–1 pm and transportation between sites will be provided. 

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Martin Luther King Day of Service

Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA

1340 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains


Head to the YMCA at 10 am for an art project, welcome speeches, music and Day of Service Fair featuring many organizations from the area. After the kickoff event, volunteers will head off to various sites for service projects. Projects are ongoing throughout the day and include food drives, pretzel decorating and drawing pictures for First Responders.

Bridges Outreach

At Bridges, your family can donate items for lunches, toiletry kits and other necessities for the homeless. Assemble kits yourselves at the center, and even deliver them directly to people in need. bridgesoutreach.org

Jersey Cares

This volunteer center database can help you find a local spot that needs help. From soup kitchens to community gardens, find the countless ways you can contribute. jerseycares.org

New Jersey Great American Cleanup

Get the kids involved in keeping the parks they love clean. Simple tasks like picking up trash or clearing leaves and debris from storm drains can make a huge impact on the overall health of the environment. Find a participating organization or register your own group. kab.org

New Jersey Veterans Home

Visit the elderly residents of a Veterans Memorial
Home (Menlo Park and Paramus) and make someone’s day. Call ahead to schedule a visit or a music recital, or bring the whole block to perform a talent. nj.gov/military/veterans/health.html

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