MLK, Jr. Day

Thank you for making MLK Jr. Day 2018 a huge success. Here's a summary of the event:

  • 720 volunteers
  • 38 community projects
  • 2700 hours of service performed
  • 13 Little Free Libraries constructed

Interactive Map of 2018 Project Sites

MEDIA Coverage

Toledo Blade 1/11/18: BGSU students, staff to volunteer on MLK Day

Sentinel-Tribune 1/13/18: Volunteers stepping up to serve on MLK holiday

Toledo Blade 1/15/18: BGSU honors MLK with service

WTOL 1/15/18: BGSU students take part in service projects for MLK Day

13 ABC 1/15/18: BGSU MLK Jr Day of Service

Falcon Media 1/16/18: At 10th annual Day of Service, more than 720 students gave 2,000-plus hours

Sentinel-Tribune 1/17/18: Lending a helping, hand

Event Details

Monday, January 15, 2018

Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Lenhart Grand Ballroom &
Community Partner Sites in Northwest Ohio

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is an annual community service event that is open to all students, faculty, & staff at BGSU.  The event engages over 800 volunteers and more than 45 community partners.  In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., volunteers serve on MLK, Jr. Day to make it “a day on, not a day off.”

Learn about Past Projects

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day on, not a day off, at BGSU.

Sign up to volunteer

There are many different ways you can be involved!

Each volunteer role is very important and our community partner organizations are counting on us to complete much needed projects.  We ask that all volunteers commit to the following :

  1. Be prepared to learn about community issues and the Northwest Ohio community,
  2. Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability for a complex, multi-faceted event,
  3. Complete necessary pre-trainings (applies to site leaders, event staff, and drivers only),
  4. Show up on the day and be committed to serve.

General volunteers are individuals or groups of students who serve at a community partner site completing a service project.  This is the most common volunteer role for the day.  This is a great way for first time volunteers to be involved.

Registration is closed

Site leaders serve as a facilitator of a group at a service project site.  Site leaders must apply for this role and attend a mandatory group meeting in November and participate in a half day training January 13, 2017.  If you are unable to commit to these meetings, please register as a general volunteer or event staff.

No longer accepting applications

Event staff help to set up the event the day before MLK Jr. Day and also assist with the smooth operation of the event with such tasks as check-in, lunch distribution, directing volunteers to shuttles, and clean up.  Must participate in a few hours of training on January 13, 2017.

Registration is closed

Drivers are needed to drive vans to drop off groups at community partner project sites.  Drivers must be 21 years or older and be certified by BGSU to drive.  Drivers are typically graduate students, staff members, and faculty members.

Registration is closed

De-Register as a Volunteer can no longer volunteer?  That's fine.  Just complete the de-registration form below.  This link will be available until the first week of January 2018, so please let us know if you have to drop out as a volunteer before then.

De-Register Here

Community Partner Project Registration

To accommodate a large volunteer group (roughly 800 volunteers) we are seeking approximately 45-50 community partner projects.

We are seeking projects that meet an identified community partner need and can be completed within four to five hours.  Common projects from past events have included: cleaning, painting, constructing boardwalks, canvassing, organizing, sorting canned goods, and more.  See past project descriptions.  Community partners may request as many volunteers needed to complete the project.

Community Partner Project Expectations
  1. Educate the volunteers about the purpose of your organization and the impact of the project.
  2. Ensure safety of volunteers while at your project site.
  3. Facilitate any needed training before beginning project.
  4. Provide adequate staff to supervise the volunteer group at your project site.
  5. Supply any materials, equipment, or tools needed to complete the project.

BGSU will provide volunteers with transportation to your project site, a bag lunch, and site leaders for each group.

If you need assistance or have questions feel free to contact the Center for Community & Civic Engagement ( or 419-372-9865). 

Registration Deadline was December 1, 2017

If you missed the deadline, but have a great project idea, please contact us at


Frequently Asked Questions

BGSU volunteers work as a team to accomplish a service project at a local non-profit agency in Northwest Ohio.  The team projects remain a mystery until the day of the event.  Each team is required to utilize their unique talents and skills to complete the project.  This is a great way to apply your problem-solving skills, meet new people, and contribute to the Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio communities.

Last year, BGSU volunteers engaged in the following:

  • Organizing a food bank and serving a community lunch
  • Reading to and playing with children
  • Building raised beds for a community garden 
  • Refurbishing picnic tables
  • Cleaning, painting, and organizing   

Our community partners are located in Bowling Green and throughout Northwest Ohio.  Past partners have included the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County and Maumee Valley, Metroparks of Greater Toledo, Toledo Animal Shelter, Bittersweet Farms, and Downtown Bowling Green just to name a few.

BGSU students, faculty, staff, and alumni are encouraged to participate.  You may volunteer as an individual and be assigned to a team OR you may sign up and complete a service project as a group.  When you complete the registration form, please be sure to indicate which group you want to serve with.  We will do our best to make sure all requests are honored, but due to the volunteer placement needs of our community partners full groups cannot always be accommodated and are sometimes split into smaller groups. 

The event takes place on the third Monday of January, which is MLK, Jr. Day.  There are no classes on MLK, Jr. Day.  #BGMLK18 will take place on Monday, January 15, 2018.

9:30am - 10:00am:    Breakfast & Check-in

10:00am - 11:45am:  Opening Ceremony

11:45am - 12:30pm:  Travel to project sites

12:30pm - 3:30pm:   Challenge Projects

3:30pm - 4:00pm:     Travel back to BGSU

4:00pm - 5:00pm:     Closing Ceremony & Reflection

You will receive a free t-shirt, breakfast, a light lunch, and service hours for volunteering for the event. You will also have a unique experience based on your service project.

Yes!  We encourage you to sign up as a group with your friends, student organization, classmates, and colleagues.  Just be sure to indicate which group you want to volunteer with on the registration form.  

You will receive a breakfast and a light lunch thanks to the support of BGSU Dining.

We encourage you to wear layers and proper winter apparel (hats, gloves, scarves, and warm coats).  Keep in mind that you may be cleaning, painting, or constructing.  You may want to bring a personal bag or backpack, a water bottle, donations, medications, and additional snacks.

The hashtag for this year's event is #BGMLK18.