Make a difference in 2018: Volunteer at Hands On Birmingham’s MLK, Jr. Day of Service

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MLK Day of Service volunteers, photo from Hands On Birmingham

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

For 18 years, Birmingham has held one of the largest MLK, Jr. Day of Service events in the country for a city its size. Last year, United Way of Central Alabama’s Hands On Birmingham organized 1608 volunteers throughout the metro area for the day of service, spending more than 4800 hours on 28 different projects.

Birmingham United Way
MLK Day of Service, photo from Hands On Birmingham

This year’s 2018 MLK, Jr. Day Service, will begin on Saturday, January 13 and last the entire week till January 19. Hands On Birmingham has organized and planned nearly 40 projects. Volunteers are needed to help refurbish local schools, feed the homeless, clean up parks and nature preserves and assist seniors.


Answering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call “what are you doing for others,” volunteers can easily choose the project they want to work on by signing up today at: – United Way’s Hands On Birmingham MLK Day of Service website (register).

The need is great

Benga Harrison, Director at Hands on Birmingham best described why MLK, Jr. Day of Service is important.

“For various reasons, not just here in Birmingham, but across the country, people thought that government was going to fix everything. People also thought that corporations were going to fix everything at some point. Then people thought our churches were going to fix everything.

One group will NOT fix the communities issues. It’s going to take all of us. It’s going to take individuals, government, corporations and our faith communities all working together to help us bring up our communities. We are getting there. We, at Hands On Birmingham, are beginning to see everyone come together and work to better the community.”

Photo from Hands On Birmingham
A gateway to making a difference in your community

MLK, Jr. Day of Service is the first event in a year-long 2018 calendar of service opportunities. Hands On Birmingham holds numerous signature volunteer events during the year that are a gateway to making a difference in the community. These life changing experiences include:

  •  Project Homeless Connect
  • Bunny Aid – April 2018
  • United Way Day of Action – June 2018
  • Birmingham City Schools Back to School Beautification & Back to School   Backpack Drive – August 2018
  • 9/11 Week of Service and Remembrance – September 2018
  • Family Volunteer Day – Before Thanksgiving 2018

In total, Hands On Birmingham coordinated over 6000 volunteers during these service days in 2017. This year, they hope to increase those numbers with your help.

The goodness of Birmingham

Hands On Birmingham’s Director Benga Harrison summed up why volunteering is alive and well in Birmingham.

She recounted last year’s Project Homeless Connect event, when she saw a couple of thousand people at Boutwell Auditorium, from all walks of life, volunteers and the homeless, gathered in one place supporting each other.

Photo from Hands On Birmingham

Harrison said.

“See these people. What you seeis rich and poor. Male and female. You see black and white. You see Hispanic and Asian; Christian, Jews, Muslims, every combination of people coming together for the least of these.

That is the goodness of Birmingham.”

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. make plans to volunteer with United Way’s Hands On Birmingham in 2018. Be a part of something special. Make a difference in your community today.

Partnered by:

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.