A couple of days ago, I posted about the United Way’s MLK Days of Service, and what a great opportunity it was for anyone who wants to break into volunteering. It sounds like an easy, no-strings way to pitch in and get inspired to serve more.
I spoke to Mando Rayo of Hands on Central Texas, the program of United Way that coordinates MLK Day of Service, about the event and what makes it a fun reason to volunteer in Austin.
1. Would you say this was a good way for someone to break into volunteering?
Yes, and what a great way to start the new year! We use our MLK Day of Service to introduce people to volunteering and hopefully, they’ll keep doing it all year long!
2. This sounds like a pretty welcoming event – and also a very inspiring one. Does everyone usually come away from this pretty jazzed?
Oh yeah! People do get excited when they come to the event, not only do they learn about legacy of Dr. King but they have a chance to interact with different types of people, work together for the good of the community and have fun!
3. What if each of the projects fills up? Do you have to turn away volunteers?
No, we never turn people away. We have a few projects that can take extra volunteers. If people just show up, we’ll find something for them to do.
4. Are there any opportunities for parents and their children to volunteer?
Most definitely! This is a great opportunity for families to come together, spend some quality time together, do some good in the community… and it’s also an opportunity to teach young children about the importance of service.
5. What would make you consider MLK Day of Service a success?
I think it boils down to “bridging the community;” it’s about connecting people from all walks of life, working together to help our neighbors, and creating opportunities for understanding. If we can get people to walk away and feel good about the experiences they’ve had and the people they’ve met, then we’ve accomplished our goals.
There’s still time to sign up, but projects are filling up. Make sure you register and read more about MLK Day of Service and the registraion process at the Hands On site. Don’t forget: The event is Saturday, January 19.