The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right
With the outpouring of grief and the demonstrations calling for justice, I’ve wondered what we can do to make a positive impact for our communities.
When I founded Virtuas, l spent a considerable amount of time trying to address the unethical and antiquated norms in IT services. Even as a small startup with limited influence, I wanted us to do better and be better. One area I failed was accepting the “typical” business holiday calendar without giving it second thought.
Starting 2021, Virtuas will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday, as a company holiday. We’ll encourage our team members to consider it “a day on, not a day off,” as MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, which encourages all Americans to volunteer to improve our communities.
In the words of Dr. King, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”.
A “Day On” for Our Communities
The MLK Day of Service inspires hundreds of thousands of Americans to come together to serve their community. Citizens in all 50 states deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, and collect food and clothing. Volunteers also recruit mentors, support job-seekers, build homes and provide other services for veterans and military families, and help citizens improve their financial literacy skills. Our nation’s leaders including congressional members, governors, and mayors honor Dr. King’s legacy through service projects while addressing pressing community needs.
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 to mark the birthday of Dr. King as a federal holiday. Americans first observed the holiday in 1986. In 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service — a “day on, not a day off.” This day of service helps to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, address social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”