Martin Luther King Jr. Day: How To Get Involved In Your Community

Volunteering

The Huffington Post Canada   First Posted: 01/16/12 09:34 AM ET Updated: 01/16/12 09:34 AM ET

Quick Study [kwik stuhd-ee]: The Huffington Post Canada's tips to make your life a little sweeter, five minutes at a time. Think of it as a cheatsheet for your general well-being.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created to honour the birthday of the civil rights leader who famously spoke his "I have a dream," speech in 1963. Today, there are numerous organizations inspired by his vision that encourage community involvement and leadership. We spoke to Ruth Richardson, the co-founder of Small Change Fund, an online platform that exposes Canadians to grassroots projects, about how families can get involved with their communities in 2012.

Ruth Richardson: It's always good to know what action people are taking in their communities and how you can help out in small ways. Part of it is tapping into what turns kids on and what gets them excited in a world of volunteering and civic action. There's such diversity of things out there and getting involved lets your family get together.

Here are some tips on how to get your kids involved with philanthropy:

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Hearing about other kids' stories can be a starting point to spark interest with those kids who may seem a bit shy at first. Ben Rudolph was one kid who recently donated his bar mitzvah money to the Hamilton Fruit Tree Project and has also collected donations for food banks and the Haiti relief effort.

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Huffington Post contributors and founders of Free The Children and Me to We, Craig and Marc Kielburger say coming up with New Year's resolutions for your family is a great way to kick start more community involvement and engage children.

Talk about the headlines. Start a subscription to a newspaper or magazine. Read articles together and point out stories of interest to your children. Discuss the influence of individuals you read about -- and the difference they are making in the world. Read the rest of the resolutions here.

WATCH: If the Google search results for "volunteer in my community" leaves you feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips to pick the right one for you. How do you get involved in your community? Let us know on Twitter at @HuffPostCaLiv or in the comments below.
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