Observed each year on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
Observed as “a day on, not a day off,” this holiday takes place next on Jan. 18, marking the 26th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy.
At Goodwill Central Coast, we celebrate all people who are committed to a National Day of Service, but it doesn’t stop there. We work each day to help people with employment needs become successful. Our goal is to ensure all of our community members know their worth, and gain the skills and confidence to land a job that could turn their life around. Each year we assist over 13,000 job seekers get back to work and reclaim financial and personal independence.
Before his passing in 1942, Rev. Edgar J. Helms, Methodist minister and founder of Goodwill Industries International wrote, “Goodwill Industries is a business plus. It exists for service not profits. Goodwill Industries is a social service plus. It offers not alms but opportunities.”
On Jan. 18 we celebrate the life of another minister, a man whose life has inspired countless people to volunteer and create opportunities in the service of others.
Goodwill has a proud history of service and volunteering. Created in 1902 by volunteers who took the idea of collecting used clothes, Goodwill provided jobs to people who repaired them, and sold the items to fund services to the most vulnerable populations. The mission of Goodwill has held strong for 110 years through the service provided by leadership and staff, the volunteer efforts of board members, advocates, and others, and the generosity of our donors who support the mission.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” Whether it’s volunteering for a local nonprofit, or supporting Goodwill Central Coast by shopping in one of our 16 stores in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, there are countless ways to create stronger communities.
The MLK Day of Service is a part of Serve.gov, an initiative overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Visit this website for more ideas on how to serve others, even during the pandemic.
On behalf of everyone at Goodwill Central Coast, we hope you celebrate MLK Day in the spirit of giving back to others while reflecting on gratitude for all we have.