“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last year, the 2021 MLK, Jr. Weekend of Service combined two popular family-friendly volunteer events – Give Together and Valentine’s Challenge. In 2022, the MLK, Jr. Weekend of Service evolved once again with the addition of a Community Conversation: Keeping the Dream Alive – A Drum Major for Equity and Social Justice, to kick-off the weekend’s volunteer events.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the service of our community volunteers, more than 1,700 volunteers registered for the Weekend’s events – the Community Conversation, Valentine’s Challenge, and Give Together. To put those numbers in perspective, in 2020, around 600 volunteers signed up to participate. While we all wish to volunteer in person, we are happy with the accessibility of these virtual events. When it is safe to do so, we look forward to providing both in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities!

Held in early January, the first Community Conversation of 2022 was a resounding success.  The panelists – Dr. Iona Spikes (Director of Equity & Family Engagement – Fairfax County Public Schools), Rev. Dr. Brian Brown (Senior Pastor – Woodlawn Faith United Methodist Church), and Dawn MJ Hyman (MPA, Project Manager – One Fairfax) – shared phenomenal stories, insights, and messages around equity, racial and social justice. Most importantly, they encouraged and inspired us to be agents of change, and to not just talk about a Beloved Community, but to live it.

More than 800 volunteers have registered for the annual Valentine’s Challenge. These volunteers are excited to show their appreciation for Fairfax County Public School teachers and staff by hand-crafting valentine cards.  Our goal is to collect 5,000 cards to be delivered to various schools across the county. We are so excited to share our love and appreciation for all that our schoolteachers and staff do for our community! See the valentine card-making in action here. These images have been shared by the community showcasing their amazing work and talents.

Due to popular demand, we have produced the second edition of the Volunteer Guidebook. For the first time in 2021, Volunteer Fairfax introduced a first-ever volunteer guidebook that outlined engaging volunteer projects that families and friends could complete from the safety of their homes.  The 2022 Volunteer Guidebook includes actionable volunteer projects around key mission areas such as racial and social justice, food insecurity & hunger, homelessness, animal welfare, and elderly care. Several Fairfax County teens are featured in the 2022 Volunteer Guidebook for their impactful work in our community.  Make sure you download a copy of this resource guide here.

Our goal for the 2022 MLK, Jr. Weekend of Serice was to inspire volunteers across all generations to observe what is going on, ask questions, dream about how things could be different, and then step up and serve! Seeing all the volunteers step up to participate reminds us of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote “We can be great because we can serve.”

Thanks to our Presenting Supporter – Kaiser Permanente. Platinum Supporter Leidos. Gold Supporters – AT&T and Deloitte. Silver Supporters – Accenture, CGI, Patient First, Transurban, and Wegmans. Foundation Supporters – Virginia Service Foundation, and Williams Foundations. Special recognition to VF’s longtime partner, the Pozez Jewish Community Center, who hosted a food drive that provided over 1,200 pounds of food to Food for Others.

Most importantly, a special thank you to all the volunteers who signed up and served! Each year, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, millions of people follow his example and spend this day as “a
day on, not a day off.” Volunteering and serving others in the community to move us closer to his vision of a Beloved Community.  So, thank you, and keep up the excellent work!

If you would like to learn more about how you and your family can volunteer in your community,  visit VolunteerNow!