2023 DC Area MLK Day of Service Events

In the spirit of the late civil rights leader, MLK Day will be filled with opportunities for people to serve in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Monday, January 16, and in the spirit of the late human rights activist, the weekend will be filled with opportunities for people to serve their communities.

MLK Day is a federal holiday, and charities and volunteer groups see it as an ideal way for people to come together and make a difference in their communities while honoring Dr. King’s legacy. There are things to do, such as volunteering at a community cleanup or beautification project, helping out at a local food bank or animal shelter, and helping out at a fundraiser.

Such sites Volunteer match, American Corps and FoodPantries.org great ways to find events in your area – we’ve listed a few highlights below.


The Rock Creek Preserve hosts a weekend full of activities looking for volunteers to restore trails, clean up litter and remove invasive species. “Invasive plants are a serious threat to our fragile forests, and stopping their spread helps native undergrowth thrive,” the organization said.

Head over to their website for more information, but you’ll want to hurry — space at the events is limited and some are already full at the time of writing.

The county will host its annual MLK Day Peace March on Monday morning, and organizers are looking for volunteers to help clean up the streets afterward. Cleaning shifts are available from 10am to 2.30pm Monday. Head here for more information. On the day of the event, you will be able to pick up items near the parade viewing platform.

Serve DC is looking for volunteers at the Arthur Capper Community Center to help with food packaging, preparing Senior Coat “Kits” and donating coats. Register online.


Montgomery County lists three pages of online volunteer and donation opportunities over MLK Day weekend.

Highlights include making dog toys for animal shelters, preparing bicycles for shipment to El Salvador, packing bags for foster children, and cleaning outdoor paths. Not every event starts and ends on MLK Day, so if you don’t have a free Monday, don’t despair — but keep in mind that some events have limited space and require advance registration.


Kudzu is an invasive vine species whose rapid growth threatens to overwhelm many of the region’s green spaces and hiking trails. Starting at 10 a.m. Monday, volunteers will clear a portion of the Mount Vernon Trail north of Old Town Alexandria. According to the Eventbrite invitation, the work will involve the use of loppers and the removal of vegetation.

If you would like to join, you are asked to bring globes, secateurs, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Register here.

Volunteer Arlington offers a variety of opportunities to check out, including collecting food, making cheer kits, restocking food supplies, and seeking donations. You will find a list of events on their website.

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