Strengthen Families
Strengthen Families

Jin’s Family: Families Serve Together on Martin Luther King Day of Service

Wairimu Mwangi
November 18, 2022
Jin’s Family: Families Serve Together on Martin Luther King Day of Service

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Day is a day off as a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a civil rights activists and preacher from the United States. It is celebrated annually on the 3rd Monday of January, not as a day off, but a day on. Citizens across the country volunteer in different ways to make their communities more equitable and full of love.

On January 17th, 2022, 75 volunteers, in partnership with Global Peace Women, FPA-USA and City of Lynnwood came together to clean a local park together. After over a year of COVID-19 restrictions, it was the first time the volunteer work was done as a community.

Organizers encouraged families to come out and serve together. It was a new trend for the community, to open the project for all ages. They removed invasive plants, planted new trees and cleaned the environment surrounding the lake by collecting garbage at a local park.  

"I felt healed as I served," one of the volunteers shared.

Among the families was little Jin. He came with his father who has been at most Martin Luther King Day of Service projects since they started in Lynnwood.  The pair worked hard, removing thorns and vines around trees, cutting off dead branches.

"I got to help papa clean the park today," Jin said happily.

“We hope that the local park can be a hub for the growing community,” said his father.

Volunteering allows us to learn new things as we broaden our networks. When we do it in our communities, we build strong bonds that grow our personal lives and our experiences of the world. It can also be therapeutic to our souls.

For some of the volunteers, it was a remarkable experience as parents and children came as families to serve together.

"It was great to serve with my children. I'm going to make this a family tradition. I can't wait for next year," reflected a volunteer.

Indeed, volunteering should be a culture that we embed in children from an early age. Serving others instills in us a spirit of gratitude and gives us an opportunity to share our life privileges with the destitute, poor and marginalized in our communities.

Whether we are doing a community clean up, donating supplies to the less fortunate or organizing peace vigils, when we volunteer, we get to serve and do well for the benefit of the whole community. At GPW, we love reading such heartwarming stories of community service. If you have such a Sunshine Family Volunteer story to share or your family wants to start such a project, email younshim.park@globalpeacewomen.org.

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