School’s out on Monday, January 16th for Martin Luther King, Jr Day, so why not plan ahead for a wonderful time outside in one of Brooklyn’s best natural locales? There are a number of family-friendly activities for the little ones happening at the Prospect Park Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If you have an older child who may be interested in volunteering in Brooklyn, there are resources listed here as well. 

Happy MLK Jr. Day, Everyone! And remember to make it a year-round way of life, if you can. With so many ways to help, his spirit and voice can live on everyday through all of us.

Prospect Park Audubon Center

Come dressed for the great outdoors, and explore what your favorite Park animals are doing this winter. Join Alliance naturalists to discover the winter survival strategies of animals that live in Prospect Park. There will be nature games, bird watching, and more!
Discovery Pack, 12–3 pm, The Prospect Park Alliance invites you to get inspired by nature with our Discovery Packs, ready-to-go kits filled with nature activities for families.
Blooming Naturalist, 1 pm, Learn how to identify birds, use binoculars and field guides. Participants can even create their own Soy wax lip balm.
Nature on the Go!, 2 pm, An Alliance Naturalist will lead children and families to areas near the Audubon Center, where everyone will learn about the nature that is all around us, even in winter.
Animal Encounter, 3 pm, Join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection, and assist in an actual feeding.

Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall
2:00pm and 3:00pm at Lefferts Historic House, $3 suggested donation

Come to hear Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall. A masterful storyteller, she weaves together diverse tales from around the world to create a rich experience for all.

Volunteering Opportunities for Families:
New York Cares is a time-tested staple in the charity and civic service world of New York City. They have many ways to volunteer, for all ages and group sizes. You can sign up to join up with a volunteering opportunity here.

Greenpoint Reformed Church This church/community center in Greenpoint at 136 Milton Street has an excellent Hunger Program and can always use volunteers for that, and other year-round happenings too. Contact Reverend Jen Aull at:

Make The Road New York: This amazing organization builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. Check out their website, it’s fascinating and packed with info. Email their volunteering Coodinator, Monica Robles at:

Empower Community Empowerment Center works fastidiously on training achievers for job possibilities, ending homelessness, providing adults with innovative education, returning home issues (special Exit and Prevention Supplement (SEPS) and Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP), and caring for veterans. Their contact page will connect you with the right team to get yourself where you’d like to be.

NYC Service provides a wealth information about volunteering anywhere in the city on this site. You can find an opportunity, find an organization, check out their list of additional volunteering opportunities, and get their NYC Service Mobile App for your phone. Spend some time on their site to hone your interests and get started!

Corporation for National & Community Service is a great database for finding volunteer opportunities. In January 2013, President Obama called for a National Day of Service that coincided with the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service. As a result, thousands of Americans joined the First Family and engaged in service across the nation. And because we all know that solving our problems can’t just be about serving once a year, thousands pledged to continue their service all year long; and united we serve! Contact them here.

Rebecca Conroy has been a Brooklynite for 20 years and is the mom of two kids. She works in photo and film production, and has a rich history in the visual arts.