Tag Archives: Service

A day on, not a day off.

January 13, 20171

Monday is a national day of service – this weekend, seek out ways to make a difference in your communities.

On the third Monday in January, individuals across the nation rise together in service to our communities to honor civil rights activist and unity visionary, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Now more than ever, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder to support the vision of a united, inclusive, multiracial, diverse nation.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our organization has been criticized in the past for our celebration of this holiday by Humanists who disesteem King’s message because of his faith, which was an integral part of his identity. But divisiveness was not.

King came from perspective of Christianity and promoted ecumenical unity, an inherently divisive concept marginalizing non-christians.  However, if he were here today, in an openly perspective-diverse nation, wouldn’t he see beyond the barriers of his faith? King looked on the world through a lens of inclusion; rather than ecumenical unity, couldn’t he evolve to focus on human unity?  Some people are pent by their faith or non-faith and are not courageous or compassionate enough to truly value those of different perspectives.  Would King have been?  Are we?

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 King was a vehement advocate of equity for all races; would his vision have been mature enough to see the evidence of inequities, discrimination, bullying, and other unacceptable transgressions against people of non-faith and minority faiths?

How can we, in our small spheres of influence, both honor his work to overcome the sadly still-relevant racism in America and further celebrate and promote a message of inclusion for all?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

King made a famous, uneducated response to a youth who asked him for advice about his feelings of attraction to other boys (Ebony Magazine advice column, 1958).  The  response was misinformed, but it was not judgmental.  While it may lead some to believe he was blind to diversities beyond colour, he did not have the culturally facilitated opportunities for enlightenment that we are privileged to have today. That statement was made 11 years before the Stonewall riots that began the journey toward equality and brought the LGBTQ+ community into the national diversity conversation. Dr. King was tragically assassinated the year before Stonewall.

Subsequent to the riots, his wife, Coretta Scott King, joined the efforts to stand for LGBT equality, as she felt that her husband would have done the same. Mrs. King said: “I’m proud to stand with all of you, as your sister, in a great new American coalition for freedom and human rights.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Those  who value and speak for equality only for the demographics of which they are a member are brave self-advocates whose voices make a difference, but they are not true inclusion champions. When equality is one of our core personal values, we join the conversation to promote inclusion for other marginalized demographics when we learn about, and have compassion for, their challenges. We become an ally.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Uniting people through service

One of King’s core values was service, and he lived his life in service to others.  On the third Monday in January we strengthen our communities by joining with others – of all diversities, of all faiths and non-faith perspectives – to make a difference.  We make the world a better place through service; we are empowered to overcome challenges through service; we are connected to one another through service.

As Humanists, we value action-oriented, solution-focused answers to the needs in our communities.  Tomorrow, on MLK day, honor your lifestance of Humanism by putting your values into action and engaging in service.

FIND SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

From the Corporation for National and Community Service:

After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

MLK INFORMATIONAL LINKS

Local Events & Info:

National:

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PSA – Family Volunteer Day

iccdThe holiday season is coming and with it, an increased interest in giving back to our community. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we reflect on the importance of volunteering with our families and friends on national Family Volunteer Day.

Volunteering together strengthens our connections to each other – what better way to bond than working together to make a positive difference in the world?  With it comes knowing that our collective effort can make a more significant impact than we can make alone. Your family may be the traditional picture – or it may be friends who’ve become an integral part of your life. Volunteering is a great way to spend time together. On Family Volunteer Day, plan to celebrate your human connections by leveraging your strength to make a difference!

And bring the kids.  Volunteering is a hands-on way to teach children about the issues in our community and how we are empowered to make a difference for others. It prepares them to be involved, informed citizens. Compassion and responsibility are developed by engaging in positive volunteer activities, as well as the sense of accomplishment in knowing that your actions made the world a better place for someone. It is a great way to make new friends, learn new skills, and have fun together.

About Family Volunteer Day

Family Volunteer Day is a day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together, supporting their neighborhoods, communities and the world.

Points of Light created the day in 1993 to showcase the benefits of family volunteering and provide opportunities for families to help communities create supportive environments for their children and each other. This year Family Volunteer Day takes place on November 22 and is being sponsored by Disney Friends for Change and powered by generationOn.

Family Volunteer Day is held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to “kick-off” the holiday season with giving and service. It also signals the start of National Family Week, sponsored by the Alliance for Children and Families and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Families that volunteer together not only address community social problems, but also strengthen themselves. Volunteering together as a family provides quality time, strengthens family communication and provides opportunities for family members to be role models.

LINKS

Family Volunteer Day – Generation On

Family Volunteer Day – Points of Light

Points of Light Foundation

2015 Year in Review

Thank you to everyone who shared our Service Life adventures in 2015. We’re looking forward to a wonderful 2016 – hope you can join us for an event soon! ‪#‎service‬ ‪#‎kindness‬ ‪#‎Humanism‬ ‪#‎volunteer‬

Find our event calendar at http://Meetup.com/BEOrlando

full year

Click for full photos

2016 MLK Weekend of Service Events

1/13/17 – Click Here for 2017 article


1/15/16 Update: 2016 follow-up

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Original Announcement:

2016 MLK Weekend of Service (#MLKDay)

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the nation continues his legacy of service to others.  Each year, BE. participates in service initiatives to celebrate service and diversity.

logoThroughout the MLK weekend BE. Orlando volunteers will engage in various service projects, including refurbishing a playground at a domestic violence shelter, feeding families of children receiving treatment for long-term and terminal illnesses, and hosting a Secular Sunday Supper conversation as part of the Sunday Supper America movement. Our Sunday Supper conversation topic is Service and Diversity: Civic engagement of the secular and Humanist community and how service can increase acceptance and inclusion of Secular Americans.

We welcome community members to join us.

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