Friday, January 06, 2012

Make it a day/life of service.

I remember one Martin Luther King day many years ago, when I was in grad school, that I spent in the lab. That wasn't too unusual because I generally went to the lab every day. But one of my colleagues (who was also working) asked me why I was in the lab on the King holiday. I replied that I thought Dr. King would want me to get my PhD.

I still think of the King Holiday as a day on rather than a day off, but now that I have finished school, I have a bit more time to be of service to others on that day. Readers of So What Can I Do are likely to feel the same, so I offer two resources to find local service projects for the King Holiday:

* Visit to find a service project in your area. Perhaps you'll prepare a vacant lot for a community garden or provide basic home repairs for a family or neighbor in need.

* Peruse the archives of So what can I do. Maybe you'll decide to donate blood (January is National Blood Donor Month) or sort products at a food bank or medical reclamation facility.

Most importantly don't let it be a just single day of service. Make a lasting commitment to make a read difference in our world. Happy birthday, Dr. King.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

EITC: Ask for it!

Tax time is upon us once again. You've got a couple of extra days this year - til April 17.

And here's another piece of good news: lots of folks, many of whom don't know it, will qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. EITC can mean up to $5,751 in your pocket. That's money to pay bills, save for college or a downpayment on your home, or stash away for a rainy day. Find out if you're eligible or ask your tax preparer about it.

Remember you have to file a tax return (even if you're not required to or do not owe) in order to claim the EITC.

You've already earned it. Now go claim it.

"Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.” — F. J. Raymond, humorist