Martin Luther King, Jr. Day-Celebrating Nonprofits and Volunteers

 Martin Luther King Day“Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us are intrigued by dreams.  On that rare occasion when we remember a dream had while sleeping, we might ask ourselves, “What was that all about!?” or “Is there a message in my dream for me to act on?”

Then, there are “goal dreams”, which are light years ahead of night dreams or even day dreams.  Goal dreams occur when we are awake.  They might come to us while sipping our morning coffee, driving in traffic, listening to a tragic news story or any number of other ways.  Goal dreams get our juices flowing.  “If I do this, I can change the world!”

One of the greatest goal dreamers in our time was Martin Luther King, Jr.  A pastor by trade, he managed to shake up a nation by bringing his dream of equality for all to the forefront of our consciousness.  Yes, this is written clearer in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”  But, somehow, nearly 200 years after our forefathers signed this infamous document, people were still not being treated properly.  Martin Luther King, Jr. decided to take action.

On August 28, 1963, more than a quarter of a million people from all ethnicities and walks of life gathered to declare that it was time for our forefathers’ assertion to become a reality for all.   This was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.'s history up to that point.  As the saying (almost) goes, “Dream it and they will come.”

For those dedicated to the nonprofit sector, turning dreams into realities might have been mixed into their baby food.  Not everyone has the vision, passion and energy to take action on the hopes for a better world.  By choosing to use your time to help friends, communities and nation, you become part of a great historical team of leaders who took their dreams and created real solutions to real problems.

Last year, over 571,000 people participated in a “day of service” in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.  Backed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the idea is to start the New Year off right by giving to those in need.  This year’s date for service is January 19, 2015.  Each year, more people participate.  For many, volunteering on this day is a springboard for continuing a life of service, whether on an individual basis or through nonprofit organizations.

For those who are already nonprofit staff and volunteers, Grantwatch.com would like to take this opportunity to commend you for acting on your hopes and dreams.  Though there may not yet be a day named after you, your efforts are still celebrated by those touched by your devotion.   Surely, our dreams for a brighter future are materializing with every great deed you perform.  May all your dreams come true!

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