In past years, the Young Professionals Council has honored the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., by bringing together our members for a day of volunteerism in partnership with local nonprofits, providing the opportunity for young leaders to make a positive impact on our community.

This year, as many of us continue to work from home and social distance, we’ve organized a list of opportunities for our members to volunteer or simply celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr., from home or independently.

Reflect on how you can help others at the African American Museum in Philadelphia’s virtual MLK Weekend Celebration.

From January 16 – 18, the African American Museum in Philadelphia will share virtual screenings, poetry readings, a keynote, and a virtual tour of their latest exhibition Rendering Justice, all connected to the theme of “What can we do for others?”

Listen to a virtual reading of the words of Dr. King with the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Join the Eastern State Penitentiary for a virtual reading of Dr. King’s 1963 “Letters from Birmingham Jail,” – including the letters “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “Why direct action?” – read by students, educators, activists, and community members, reflecting on the landmark text’s relevance today.

Combat food insecurity through the Share Food Program.

The Young Professionals Council’s Civic Engagement Committee started a food drive benefitting the Share Food Program. Food insecurity has risen to the forefront of issues during COVID-19 and the Share Food Program is working to combat this by delivering food and meals to approximately 1,000,000 people in the Greater Philadelphia region. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Michael McGuire.

Find a solo or virtual volunteer activity through one of the Greater Philadelphia MLK Day of Service organization’s 100+ volunteer opportunities.

Greater Philadelphia MLK Day of Service, an organization providing year-round volunteer opportunities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, has launched a volunteer portal for individuals to identify virtual or local service opportunities, like donation drop-offs, a civic engagement expo, and more.

Dig in to what it means to be an activist at the family-friendly virtual activities offered by the National Liberty Museum.

The National Liberty Museum’s virtual programs will take place the entire weekend leading up to MLK Day and will include a reading of kids’ stories like The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist, print-outs for children to create their own liberty-inspired posters, and more.

Organize a virtual food drive with the help of Philabundance.

Commit yourself, a team, or your company to support Philabundance’s mission by setting up a virtual food drive to help the organization get access to the necessary food and resources for the 700,000+ people facing food insecurity in the Delaware Valley.

Connect with a local nonprofit in need of your unique skills, like marketing or event planning, by finding an opportunity in the Philadelphia Foundation’s volunteer portal.

The Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skills Hub is a skills-based volunteerism portal that allows individuals to volunteer the skills they already possess to an organization in need. Set aside a couple minutes to create a profile and start exploring virtual and in-person projects available near you.

Take part in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s evening of musical tributes, followed by interviews with local leaders.

On January 18, The Philadelphia Orchestra will put on a virtual evening of music honoring Dr. Kings legacy staged at varying locations, like Belmont Mansion’s Underground Railroad Museum, Harriet’s Bookshop, and more, followed by interviews with local leaders like Pennsylvania Representative Jordan Harris and Reverend Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church.

Sign up for an ongoing initiative, like Read by 4th.

MLK Day is a great opportunity to sign on to support Read by 4th, a citywide initiative that works to realize the vision that all children will be reading at grade level by the time they enter the 4th grade. Volunteers can commit to activities like volunteering to read with children through Read by 4th’s partner network, joining a committee to advance the work of the initiative, becoming a Reading Captain to share information and resources with your community and network, and more.