For some, today may be a day to sleep in. After all, you may be taking advantage of your office being closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hopefully, however, many of you are taking advantage of the day in a different way - by remembering who this day recognizes, what it is all about and giving back in your local communities.
Dr. King believed in a nation of equality, of freedom, of justice for all - as we know through his “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the most famous speeches of all time. But we also know that he encouraged citizens to be active in their communities, efforts that help make our country an even better place to live.
Today's King Holiday Observance will mark Dr. King’s 81st birthday, as well as the 25th anniversary of the national holiday in his honor - a holiday celebrated across our nation and around the globe. For a quick history lesson, Sip & Savor would like to note that the first legislation providing for this holiday was introduced by Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., just four days after Dr. King’s assassination. But it wasn’t until 15 years later when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill establishing a national holiday to be observed on the third Monday of every January. Three years later, on January 20, 1986, the first national King Holiday was observed. Then, in 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act, which, according to The King Center, “expanded the mission of the holiday as a day of community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives.”
The beverage industry is an American industry that believes in the message of the Day of Service and gives back in the communities in which it operates. In fact, ABA member companies big and small engage in community service activities; donate beverage products in times of need, such as with the recent natural disaster in Haiti; sponsor events; and more. And our industry and its employees have generously contributed at least $1,492.8 millions of dollars to charitable causes across the country.
Feeling even more inspired now? If you’re looking for opportunities in your local area, it’s likely that many exist - for today and every day of the year. There are many places to find these opportunities - in your local paper, on Facebook, or through your local church, hospital, school, recreation center and elsewhere. In fact, some Web sites that serve as clearinghouses of information on volunteering include One Brick, Volunteer Match and United We Serve.
So instead of sleeping in, Sip & Savor encourages you to step out and give back. As The King Center states, it’s “A Day On…..Not A Day Off.”