How to serve on MLK Day while quarantining at home

Serving on Martin Luther King Day 2021 may look and feel different this year but a number of organizations are offering ways to virtually volunteer and celebrate Dr. King's legacy from home.

(CNN)Caught between colliding pressures of a pandemic, political unrest and outcries for social justice, this Martin Luther King Day of Service is unlike any other. But despite the limitations of the season, this federal holiday doesn't have to be any less impactful. Now more than ever, MLK Day of Service is enabling everyday people to roll up their sleeves and help their communities -- even while stuck at home. Here's how:

Building and sending care packages

      Without the hassle of finding parking or forgetting your facemask at home, one way to spread goodwill on MLK Day is by making at-home care packages for those in need of cheer. Operation Gratitude is offering a number of virtual ways to spread joy to frontline workers and military members. With convenience in mind, this organization has set up an Amazon wish list through the Amazon Smile Program. After purchase, items like socks, sunscreen, and beef jerky are shipped to Operation Gratitude. From there, care packages are assembled and sent to those on the front lines.
        "Volunteers are the heart and soul of Operation Gratitude," says Danielle Teconi, the organization's communications director.
          "Anyone, from anywhere, can participate from home, as it's self-guided and self-paced," she explains.
          As an added perk, eligible purchases made through the organization's wish list will kick back a small donation to the charity.
          For crafty volunteers, Operation Gratitude also offers a step-by-step guide on how to make eye-catching letters of gratitude for military personnel and essential workers.
          And, for those who sew, volunteers can lend their talents on MLK Day to create knitted crafts as a part of the organization's Hand Made with Love initiative. Soft keepsakes like crochet hats, scarves and handmade bags can cheer up deployed troops when home feels far away.

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