Honoring MLK Jr. With a Day of Service in the Berkshires

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 15th

By Berkshires Macaroni Kid January 8, 2024

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described a “fierce urgency of now” when he spoke at the March on Washington in 1963. Now, nearly 60 years later, his words have renewed meaning. They remind us we are stronger when we march forward, together.

In recognition of Dr. King’s legacy of service and leadership to gain equality for all Americans, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service in 1994. AmeriCorps leads the effort each year.

Observed each year on the third Monday in January — which falls on Jan. 15 in 2024 — the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. Since its inception, MLK Day of Service has grown and its impact has increased as more Americans embraced the idea that citizenship involves taking an active role to make communities better. 

Serving on MLK Day can be an entry point for ongoing volunteer effort and help build connections that strengthen communities. Through service, we can build more equitable and just communities to underpin racial equity, expand civic opportunities, and foster respect for individual differences — all great lessons for our children. 

With that in mind, here are 4 family-friendly opportunities in the Berkshires:

Do you know of a family-friendly or kid-friendly volunteer opportunity not listed here? Please reach out to and we'll add it to our list!

Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center Clothing Drive

On Saturday, January 13th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., drop off gently used clothing and shoes to 165 East Street, Pittsfield. Volunteer to help collect, sort, and hand out items. Shifts available January 13-15th. Sign up at Spread the word about the free clothing market on Monday, January 15th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service 

Join the NAACP, Berkshire County Branch, and New Generation Global Ministry for a celebration in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an African American Baptist pastor, activist, and political philosopher who was one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement. Pastor Akilah Edgerton will deliver a powerful message, there will be selections by the Community Choir of Berkshires and more. This event is free and open to all. Sunday, January 14th at 4 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield.

Northern Berkshire Community Coalition 

The official annual MLK Day of Service is BACK for 2024. Join the Nbcc on Monday, January 15th from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. for this day of community service in celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To pre-register yourself or a group call: 413-663-7588 or Click here to see the full schedule of events.

Berkshire Museum

In honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, admission to Berkshire Museum is FREE on Monday, January 15, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Free admission in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been generously sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union! There will be a screening of the Academy-award-winning film SELMA (2014) from 2 to 4 pm. Copies of MARTIN LUTHER KING & THE MONTGOMERY STORY (the famed 1957 comic book) will be available in English and Spanish in limited supply.

How kids can help ... from home

Want more ideas on how to give back to your community that you can do from home? Here are some age-appropriate ideas you can do from home:

Kindergarten - 2nd Grades

  • Make cards or pictures for nursing home residents locally or find letter requests here! 
  • Fill Little Free Libraries or Little Free Pantries
  • Package care bags for people without housing or otherwise in need
  • Collect old towels and blankets and deliver to an animal shelter

3rd - 5th Grades

6th Grade and Up

  • Participate in charity walks or runs
  • Foster a pet as a family
  • Make and donate masks to local family shelters
  • Start a club at your school that promotes volunteerism throughout the year
  • Initiate a park clean up or beautification project
  • Install a buddy bench at a school