Where to Volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2024 Around Uptown NYC

A collection of organizations hosting volunteers during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, and a few cultural events Uptown.

Janrey Serapio
January 05, 2024

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is just around the corner. Before you make those long weekend plans, consider honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by giving back to the Upper Manhattan community during this day of service.

The Jan. 15 federal holiday not only encourages people to remember Dr. King’s legacy, but to use the day to care for your community, especially neighbors in need.

You can take part in this tradition by supporting one of the many important organizations hosting volunteers Uptown. These organizations are anchors in the community—brightening public spaces, feeding New Yorkers, providing human services—and gladly welcome volunteers to join their mission. 

To help you make the most of your day of service, Columbia Neighbors rounded up a few Uptown volunteering opportunities to take part in this coming weekend and, perhaps, as the year goes forward.

Know of a volunteering opportunity that we should include here? Send us an email.

NYC Parks’ MLK Day of Volunteer Community Service with Repair the World at Randall’s Island

Icahn Stadium, 10 Central Rd.

Randall’s Island Park Alliance is looking for volunteers looking to flex their artistic skills. Volunteers will paint creative, readable signs for an urban farm and other areas around the island. All supplies will be provided and the space will be arranged for when volunteers arrive. Jan. 13, 9:30 am - 11:30 am

“Together We Can” Event at The YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood

Fort Washington Collegiate Church, 729 W. 181st St.

The YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood will hold a special volunteering opportunity in honor of the day of service. The “Together We Can” event invites volunteers to care for refugees seeking asylum by creating care packages for distribution. Jan. 15, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Broadway Community

601 W. 114th St.

Since the launch of the Community Lunch Program in 1982, Columbia Community Service (CCS) grantee Broadway Community has been feeding and nourishing every person in need who has visited their kitchen. Both morning and afternoon shifts in the soup kitchen are available for volunteers. Volunteers are also being welcomed to help at the food pantry and to assist in preparing meals on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Various Times 

New York Common Pantry

8 E. 109th St.

NY Common Pantry, a CCS grantee, fights hunger and food insecurity through programs that establish long-term independence for its clients. This coming MLK Day, NY Common Pantry is seeking heavy lifters to help unload packages of food and supplies from delivery trucks. Sign up through New York Cares. Jan. 16, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Three masked volunteers packing boxes of produce to be given out at New York Common Pantry locations throughout the city.

West Side Campaign Against Hunger 180th Street

549 W. 180th St.

West Side Campaign Against Hunger, also a CCS grantee, alleviates hunger by ensuring that all New Yorkers have access with dignity to a choice of healthy food and supportive services. The organization is accepting volunteers to help pack food boxes for those in need, and also flatten used boxes for recycling. Sign up through New York Cares. Jan. 16, multiple slots

Beloved Community Creations at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

212 W. 83rd St. 

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a steward of early childhood, helping all children grow and develop into their best selves. This MLK Day weekend, the organization is hosting two opportunities for families to create art for the Uptown community. You can choose to take part in creating a community mural demonstrating a “beloved community,” or an art installation illustrating a neighborhood with the resources it needs to thrive. Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm 

After planning your day of service, check out these cultural events at Uptown institutions that are celebrating and honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.  

A Special King Weekend Experience: A Community Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III

Date & Time: Jan. 12, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 
Price: Free 
Location: 32 Odell Clark Pl., The Abyssinian Baptist Church 

Uptown Hall: The Inconvenient King

Date & Time: Jan. 14, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: 253 W. 125th St., Apollo’s Historic Theater

Film Screening: When Harlem Saved A King at The Robert Frederick Smith Center for the Performing Arts

Date & Time: Jan. 14, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm 
Price: Free
Location: 679 Riverside Dr. at 145th St., Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park

Every Voice Choir’s Community Singing for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Date & Time: Jan. 15, 1:30 pm 
Price: Free
Location: 601 W. 114th St., Broadway Presbyterian Church

Apollo Apprentices Present: MLK Young Changemakers at the Apollo Theater

Date & Time: Jan. 15, 4:00 pm 
Price: Free
Location: Virtual

A Musical Concert of Unity, Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Date & Time: Jan. 16, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm 
Price: Free
Location: 525 W. 120th St., Teachers College, Milbank Chapel

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date:

* indicates required