Each year on the third Monday in January, people across America turn their focus away from themselves and toward service to others. On this day, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for his fight for civil rights.
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve,” King once said. His dedication to service and to empowering communities is why Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday citizens are asked to observe as a “day on, not a day off.”
This national day of service honors King by helping transform his teachings into action and tangible positive change. Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) volunteers participate in MLK Day projects every year.
“Rev. King was all about service – helping those that were less fortunate and trying to promote equality across the board,” said 2016 APSO State President Tony Smith. “I often reflect back on one speech where he talked about what he wanted to be remembered for. It wasn’t for his doctorate degree or for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He wanted to be remembered as someone that tried to help others. This holiday gives us another day to reflect on APSO’s mission to help others and improve our communities.”
In 2015, employees volunteered more than 500 hours on MLK Day through APSO projects. Smith is encouraging Alabama Power employees to join efforts Monday to increase their statewide impact and honor King.
APSO chapters are looking for volunteers for events, including:
Southeast Division/Plant Farley
Jan. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., APSO will participate in projects in Barbour County:
- Painting at the Boys and Girls Clubs
- Cleaning and renovating at Eufaula Daycare
- Landscaping at Eufaula High School
- Trash pickup at Yoholo Micco Trail/AMMS, beautification at Twelve Stones Garden
- Organic gardening at Eufaula Preschool and at Eufaula Primary School.
Jan. 20, Montgomery will hold a citywide, multicultural celebration at Davis Theatre. APSO volunteers will assist. It starts at 6 p.m.
APSO volunteers will help Jan. 18 at 8 a.m. as the Anniston Meeting Center hosts an MLK Community Breakfast Celebration.
- Village Creek Human & Environmental Justice Society — YouthServe and APSO are partnering to clean debris from seven locations around Birmingham.
- APSO members will volunteer at Kids First Awareness in Alabaster to landscape and paint.
- APSO volunteers are also helping at the MLK Parade in Montevallo.
Other commemorative events will be hosted all over the state.
Alabama State University will host its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation on Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. Admission is free to the Civil Rights Memorial Center. For more information, call 334-956-8200.
Admission is free to the Civil Rights Institute. For more information, call 205-328-9696.
MLK Realizing the Dream — Jonathan Butler will be featured at the Moody Music Concert Hall on Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Call 205-348-7111. For more information about Realizing the Dream activities and events, email [email protected].
MLK Day of Service — Sponsored by the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, on Jan. 18 students will be connected to agencies to participate in various service projects. For more information or to volunteer, visit MLK Day of Service.