"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'what are you doing for others?'" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every day, volunteers are out in our communities getting their hands dirty. They’re pulling weeds from school gardens, cleaning donated children’s books and caring for down-on-their luck shelter animals. They’re grocery shopping for seniors and knitting caps for newborn babies.

Honor Dr. King's legacy and join more than 1,500 of your friends and neighbors to volunteer during United Way's MLK Weekend of Service, Jan. 15-18.

We know firsthand that nonprofits in our region rely on volunteers to meet their missions. Last year, United Way’s Hands On Greater Portland team leveraged the power of 11,000 volunteers. They made over 24,000 connections to volunteer opportunities and generated over $1.6 million in volunteer labor for 292 nonprofits in our region.

Volunteers provide vital support to Children’s Book Bank, a local nonprofit that helps children succeed in school and beyond by filling their homes with quality books from an early age.

“Hundreds of volunteers are introduced to our agency through Hands On Greater Portland every year,” said Danielle Swope, Executive Director at Children’s Book Bank. “These volunteers accomplish book cleaning, repairing and sorting of tens of thousands of donated books, allowing us to give fun and engaging "like new" books to 9,000 children each year. On top of that, our Hands On volunteers have fueled year over year growth by becoming advocates for literacy themselves.”

Local businesses also play an important role during this community event. This year, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is providing critical support as the presenting sponsor of MLK Weekend of Service.

“For more than 75 years, Regence BlueCross BlueShield has partnered with community leaders to help make the Pacific Northwest a healthier and more equitable place to live, work and play,” said President Angela Dowling. “We’re proud to build on that commitment by supporting United Way and the MLK Weekend of Service.”

And of course, volunteers are critical! MLK Weekend of Service could not happen without the generosity of people like you. Sign up now to volunteer during MLK Weekend of Service, but hurry - spots are filling fast.

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