By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Martin Luther King Day is quickly approaching and if you’re looking for a way to serve in the first and largest Martin Luther King Day of Service in the nation, which is right here in Philadelphia, there are plenty of ways to lend a hand and your talents to our community.

This year is the 27th annual Martin Luther King Day of Service.

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While every year brings new challenges that may strain us or attempt to pull us apart, it’s a day like Martin Luther King Day that we so fortunately have to bridge our brother and sisterhood and bring us all closer together.

“Dr. King is more than just a birthday celebration, it’s an opportunity to embrace his legacy of turning pressing challenges into action,” Todd Bernstein said.

Bernstein is the event coordinator for Greater Philadelphia’s MLK Day. He explains this year the theme of the day’s events is combatting racism and building community while bringing awareness to five specific issues — health justice, voting rights, gun violence, economic justice and literacy.

Those five issues are translated into events people can take part in.

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“At Girard College, Monday is devoted to health justice with the Black Doctors Consortium, test people for COVID. We’ll be working with CHOP to offer vaccinations and flu shots. It’s really not just about volunteering,” Bernstein said.

But, if you are looking for a way to volunteer, consider masking up and teaming up with Ya Fav Trashman, Terrill Haigler, the former Philly sanitation worker who’s working to get Philly liter free by 2025.

“Too often people have normalized a dirty block or living in filth,” Haigler said. “I want to use these efforts to ignite a sense of pride and a sense of self in these communities that feel they don’t have a voice and let them know that someone cares for them.”

Haigler says, for him, “it’s about doing something for someone else, but making an impact.”

There are plenty of ways to get involved and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.

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We’ve created a guide with a list of events happening on MLK Day. MLKDayofservice.org also offers a list of all the virtual events.

Vittoria Woodill