Our View: 'Day on' should catch on here

January 19, 2013 

Monday is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day off from school and work for many of us. But there's been a drive in recent years to make it a "day on," a day of service to others.

That fits the King legacy.

Anchorage attorney Russ Winner wrote on these pages Friday about how lawyers throughout Alaska are holding free legal clinics Monday. You can insert your own jokes here about either lawyers or free advice, but the fact is sound legal advice can make a big difference to people who have more trouble than treasure and can't afford a lawyer.

The attorneys' work is a real service.

Winner invited other groups and individuals to do something similar. It's a good idea and it's catching on. United Way volunteers will be going door-to-door today with information about the agency's 211 program. People can dial 211 and learn where they can get practical help for all kinds of assistance from food banks to utility bills and housing help. The service saves time and aggravation for people who need help, but you can't use it if you don't know about it. So United Way is spreading the word.

It's late to organize a group effort for Monday, but maybe not too late to do something on an individual level -- make that contribution you were thinking about, or that volunteer commitment, or just do something to give someone a hand. With enough giving, making the day off from work a "day on" for giving could gather the strength of tradition.

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