MLK Jr. Day: See Blue, Push for Peace, Volunteer in Your Neighborhood

January 16, 2011

Monday, January 17, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a great day to do something to help your community.

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

MLK logo: Make it a day on, not a day offIt seems fitting that we should come up with an answer on the 25th anniversary of the national holiday in honor of this great leader.

MLK Day is a chance to do something for your community and to start the new year off in a positive way. It can be as extensive as donating your time to as simple as donating a coat.

There’s a wonderful web site, MLKDay.gov, where you can find ways to get involved in your neighborhood.

You can register a project idea of your own at the site or find one in your community in which to participate.

Then, keep going throughout the year and join the MLK 25 Challenge, a call to Americans to honor Dr. King, and our country, by pledging to take at least 25 actions during 2011 to make a difference for others and to strengthen our communities.

Another website, this one recommended by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, is Serve.Illinois.gov, where you can find all kinds of volunteering opportunities around our state.

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Allstate is also hosting its own Give Back Day in which volunteers can assist with painting, cleaning, repairing and other jobs in communities throughout the nation and the Chicago area.

Search for local opportunities here.

Rosazlia Grillier talking to someone

Chicago's own Rosazlia Grillier

To commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Allstate is also honoring four individuals for its second annual Give Back Day Heroes program, and one of them is a Chicagoan.

“Give Back Day Heroes embody the principles of Dr. King through their year-round commitment to volunteerism, making a positive impact in their communities, and encouraging others to follow their lead.”

Rosazlia Grillier of Chicago is a community organizer who overcame her own adversities to inspire change in the Englewood neighborhood. Read about her here.

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Chicago architecture will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. week as some buildings will be lit in blue to symbolize peace during the week of January 14-21.

Rev. Michael Pfleger

“Every year at this time, we pause to think about the contribution the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King made to our society and to recommit ourselves to the work of achieving his dream of fairness, equality and opportunity for all people,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley.

“There is no greater barrier to achieving that dream than the violence that too many Chicagoans face in their neighborhoods every day. Some people seem to think that violence is just something that happens when you live in a big city. Well, I disagree. We don’t have to accept the violence.”

The blue-light campaign was created by Rev. Michael Pfleger, the South Side activist known as “Chicago’s renegade priest” who consistently champions for peace in dangerous city neighborhoods.

“Let’s channel our energy and passion into ending the violence,” said Daley. “That’s the message we’re trying to send with the blue lights on our downtown buildings.”

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The Chicago Park District is hosting a bevy of activities for children on MLK Jr. Day at parks around the city.

Some cost money and some are free; all should help your children understand this day as something more than the one they get off from school.

Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com for all the details.

Have a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and feel free to share with us some positive steps you have taken to help others throughout your community!

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[…] How did you spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Did you make a difference in your Chicago neighborhood? […]


In communities across the country, more than 2,000 volunteers joined Allstate Insurance Company agents and employees in tribute to the heroic public service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Give Back Day reminds people to start the year by giving back and to volunteer in their community every day.

Allstate hosted service projects in 14 communities, partnering with non-profits to address social needs on a local level. Volunteers in Chicago held a book drive for elementary students in Chicago Public Schools. In Texas, Allstate partnered with Rebuilding Together to clean and repair homes of low-income residents. Allstate New Jersey teamed up with Junior Achievement of New Jersey to help beautify an elementary school. And, in Denver, Allstate agents and employees read books to patients at local children’s hospitals.

For more information visit Allstate Insurance Digital Newsroom.

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