On Monday, January 15th, we honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many people and organizations in the United States use Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of service, giving back to their communities in the spirit of the change that Dr. King worked toward during his short life. The Corporation for National and Community Service maintains a website where you can locate an MLK Day volunteer opportunity in your community by entering your zip code or searching by city and state. And if you’d like to volunteer with one of the Diverse Elders Coalition organizations, click on any of the links below for more information:
- National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), serving the Asian American, Pacific Islander American and Native Hawaiian communities, Seattle, WA
- National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), serving the Hispanic communities, Washington, DC
- National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), serving the American Indian and Alaska Native communities, Albuquerque, NM
- SAGE || Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders, serving the LGBTQ communities, New York, NY
- Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), serving the Southeast Asian American communities, Washington, DC
Even if you don’t live in one of the four cities where our national offices are located, the Diverse Elders Coalition has hundreds of local partners and affiliates across the United States, and we would be happy to connect you with an organization in your community.
On Monday, I will be volunteering at the Hamilton Grange Senior Center, where I serve lunch to the vibrant, diverse older adults in my neighborhood of Harlem every Monday afternoon. Even though I’ve only been volunteering there for less than a year, the center has fast become one of my favorite places to spend time. In addition to meal services, the center offers fitness classes, theater classes, card games and board games, and dance classes for the elders who attend their day services. And let me tell you: those participants, all of whom are 65 or older, have dance moves that put my own to shame.
Whether you volunteer on Monday or choose to get active in your community in other ways on other days, we hope you will spend some time next week thinking about those who have come before us and the blood, sweat, and tears they have given to get us to where we are today. And while most days it feels like we still have an awful long way to go, we will continue to work across generations to ensure that diverse elders across the United States can age with health and dignity.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.