United Way of Central Carolinas will celebrate the life, legacy and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its annual MLK Call to Service on Saturday, January 18 from noon until 2 p.m. at The Park Expo & Conference Center in Charlotte.


The family friendly community event will feature a variety of hands-on service-learning projects and educational activities for children, individuals, families and groups centered on the holiday that bears the civil rights leader’s name.


“We feel that bringing the community together in the spirit of service to others is a great way to honor Dr. King’s continued relevance for our society today,” said Bob Young, United Way’s director of volunteer strategy and planning.


Here are some highlights for this year’s event:



  • Creating number and alphabet flash cards for Classroom Central
  • Encouragement cards for Love In Action Project
  • Making no-sew baby blankets for Baby Bundles
  • Designing bookmarks for Promising Pages
  • A Kids Activity Zone hosted by Jack & Jill of America, Charlotte Chapter



  • A technology drive to benefit Informative Technologies, Inc.
  • A blood donation drive with OneBlood



  • A variety of interactive poverty simulation exercises
  • A nonprofit agency informational area


While MLK Call to Service delivers valuable assistance to nonprofit organizations, schools and other service providers, it also allows volunteers to reflect on the meaning of Dr. King’s life of service and move closer to his vision of a connected community where we each reach our full potential.


Last year, more than 1,200 volunteers gave back to the greater Charlotte community during MLK Call to Service. The event is part of United Way’s commitment to championing equity and inclusion in our community.


“Adding the education-focused elements around the issue of poverty enables us also to highlight one of Dr. King’s primary efforts before he died – The Poor People’s Campaign – the goals of which are still very relevant to us in the Charlotte area,” Young said.


There is no cost to attend the event, however, advance registration is required. If interested in participating in the projects and activities please sign up by visiting https://uwcentralcarolinas.org/mlk/.