By Carla O’Day
It’s supposed to be a “day on,” not a “day off.”
The late Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Instead of spending this Monday on the couch watching movies, several opportunities exist for northern Nevadans to take part in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Spend a few hours volunteering or do something simple, such as donating some nonperishable goods.
King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence. He played a significant role in ending legal segregation in the U.S. and in the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the year he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
His birthdate, Jan. 15, 1929, is celebrated as a federal holiday the third Monday in January. King was assassinated in 1968.
Here are some ways to get involved:
- Mini Bio Blitz Series, 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, 305 Coretta Way, Reno. Those specializing in insects, birds, plants, mammals and reptiles need help identifying as many species as possible. Collecting such data helps everybody gain a better understanding of biodiversity in the region. Details: 775-453-0566
- Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society’s 29th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, 3800 S. Virginia St. Tickets are $65 and available at En Soul Hair Gallery, 855 E. Fourth St., Suite F, and Northern Nevada International Center, 821 N. Center St. Guest speaker is Punam Mathur, executive director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation, which focuses on equity, civil rights and conservation. Details: www.nnbcas.org or 775-329-8990
- Food Bank of Northern Nevada holds an all-ages volunteer event from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 16 at its distribution center, 550 Italy Drive. Volunteers can bag product for distribution to Food Bank clients. Limited to the first 250 signups. Donations of nonperishable and unexpired goods will also be accepted. Details: https://fbnn.org or 775-331-3663
- Northern Nevada Martin Luther King Jr. 31st Annual Interfaith Community Memorial Service, 3 p.m. Jan. 15 at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2655 Rock Blvd., Sparks. Details: 775-355-9030
- Nevada Rural Counties Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 6; and Friends in Service Helping (FISH), 138 E. Long St., Carson City, are collecting personal hygiene products, bedding, prepaid phone cards, gift cards and other items to be distributed by RSVP’s Veterans VIP program. Details: 775-687-4680, ext. 119; 775-350-7021, www.nevadaruralrsvp.org or www.nvfish.com.
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Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.