For many South Sounders, Monday's holiday will be "a day on, not a day off" as they spend their time volunteering and reflecting on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
“I think that Martin Luther King had beliefs and ideas that are valuable to all of us today,” said Carolyn Lynch, chairwoman of the Thurston Diversity Council. “He had things to say to all of us.”
Several South Sound schools held assemblies last week to teach students the importance of topics such as diversity, civil rights and community service. On Friday, hundreds of students from Komachin Middle School were dispatched to community-service projects throughout the region for the school’s annual Day of Caring. Their scheduled projects included creating quilts for injured military members, cleaning up their school, washing toys at the Hands On Children’s Museum and planting native bushes at Northwest Trek.
“The kids get so excited for this day,” said Emma Margraf, director of special projects for the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties.
Volunteering to help others in honor of King is becoming a tradition for the younger generation, she said.
Here are some ways to get involve in celebrating King’s life over the holiday weekend:
• Join a silent meditative walk around Capital Lake from noon-1 p.m. Sunday. The event will begin at Marathon Park on the west end of Capitol Lake off Deschutes Parkway, Olympia.
• Worship at an interfaith service at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bethel Christian World Outreach Ministries, 2729 Westmoor Court S.W., Olympia.
• Attend the annual Martin Luther King Celebration, 4 p.m. Monday at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.
• Rally for those in need at the Poverty Action’s Summit on Monday. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a policy briefing and training at United Churches, 110 11th Ave. S.E., Olympia. A rally at the steps of the Legislative Building is set for 11:30 a.m., and meetings with lawmakers will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on the Capital Campus.
A similar effort, called the MLK Day People’s Summit and Rally, begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia, and will include a march and rally to the Capital Campus.
• Learn about local farms, taste-test healthful recipes and get information about healthful living at Lunch Boxes Etc., at the Rochester Boys and Girls Club, 10140 U.S. Highway 12 S.W.,. The event runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and all families are welcome.
• Volunteer to help with an AmeriCorps activity at South Sound schools. Most of the programs required preregistration for students; however, adult volunteers are sought to help with activities. Volunteers are asked to contact the organizer before showing up Monday.
• Experiencing Equality, a day of workshops about contemporary and historical rights, at Madison Elementary School, 1225 Legion Way S.E., Olympia. Volunteers will work between 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Youth Voice: Hopes and Dreams, an event to help youths set goals, at Garfield Elementary School, 325 Plymouth St. N.W., Olympia. The event is from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
• Bully-Cott, an event aimed at teaching kids preventive methods against bullying through creative outlets and the arts at Olympia High School, 1302 North St., Olympia.
• Volunteers are sought to canvass Olympia neighborhoods and pick up donations for a benefit show and donation drive benefiting Rosie’s Place, and the Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project. The group will meet at 11 a.m. at 1330 Prospect St. N.E., Olympia.
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 firstname.lastname@example.org