9 Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

From online events to donation opportunities, here's how to honor the legacy of the civil rights activist on this national day of service.

How to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Photo by Bee Calder via Unsplash

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to continue the legacy of the Civil Rights leader who advocated for activism and service. Explore different in-person and virtual events and donation opportunities around Montgomery County this year that honor Dr. King.


Sharing Smiles Virtual Concert
Jan. 17 | 2 p.m.
Empowering the Ages, an organization dedicated to facilitating relationships across generations, has partnered with the National Philharmonic for “Celebrating Black Composers and Musicians,” a new Sharing Smiles concert in honor of MLK Day. The virtual concerts, performed by local youths, were created to bring a bit of joy to older adults while giving young people a platform to showcase their talents. The concerts will be broadcasted in older adult living facilities but anyone can watch online.

Real Talk in a Virtual World
Jan. 18 | 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will be hosting a virtual MLK Day of Service featuring discussions on mental health, staying active and estate planning as well as fun breaks like line dancing and a self-care workout. The event will close with a look at the impact of the MLK Day. A meeting link will be sent after registration.

Bender JCC of Greater Washington
Jan. 18 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bender JCC invites you to help assemble oral care kits for A Wider Circle, a nonprofit dedicated to ending poverty, at an outdoor, socially distanced event. Tickets are $15 and cover the cost of supplies. Participants can select a 30 minute shift, and children over age two will be required to wear masks. 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville.

Montgomery County MLK Tribute
Jan. 18 | 5 p.m.
Join Montgomery County in its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Tribute and Celebration. The virtual event, “In His and Their Own Words,” will include remarks from Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Council President Tom Hucker and Director of Human Rights James Stowe. Viewers will be able to create MLK-inspired art and watch performances by Chelsey Green, Dem Raider Boyz, Akhemedova Ballet Academy and more. Marcus Johnson, a MoCo resident and world-renowned jazz musician, will close out the event with a special performance.

Make a Donation

Diversity Book Drive
Jan. 18-24
Zeta Phi Beta—Eta Pi Zeta Chapter is partnering with Montgomery County elementary schools to provide more diverse books to their libraries. Anyone interested in donating a book can visit their Amazon Wish List of county-approved books touching on topics like race, self-love and the Black Lives Matter movement. Questions can be sent to [email protected].

Comfort Cases
Jan. 18
Comfort Cases provides backpacks filled with personal care items including soap, pajamas, a toothbrush and a stuffed animal to children who are transitioning into foster care. The organization is asking for everyone to donate the necessary items and funds through their Amazon Wish List.

Food Drives

Help Montgomery County fight food inequality by donating non-perishable items to these food banks and organizations. All of the food drives listed below take place on Monday, Jan. 18.

Women Who Care Ministries: Purchase items through their Amazon Wish List or drop off food from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 19642 Club House Rd. Suite 620, Montgomery Village.

College Park Community Food Bank: Drop off from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m. College Park Church of the Nazarene, 9704 Rhode Island Ave.

Germantown Help: Drop off from 10 a.m. to noon. Journey’s Crossing Church, 12900 Cloverleaf Center Drive Suite A.


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