Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This January 16, people from across the country will come together for Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service to honor Dr. King’s legacy through community service. Joining together in service is something Lodges across the country use CIP grants for each year. These grants offer Lodges the opportunity to energize the membership and raise the Lodge’s profile. But even more than that—they offer the opportunity for Elks to encourage and empower others to serve.

What are you doing for others? What is your Lodge doing to engage the community? Take this Martin Luther King Day to reflect on these questions, and let his legacy of service inspire your Lodge to bring together youth, other citizens and community organizations in giving back. Here’s how some Lodges use CIP grants to do just that.

Tawas Area, Mich., Lodge No. 2525 partners with the Iosco County Family Court to sponsor a community service activity for youth using the Promise Grant. This past summer, 25 Elk volunteers along with 15 youth in the program created and installed mile markers along more than six miles of the Tawas Bay Pedestrian and Bike Path. In addition, the group worked side-by-side all afternoon to tag trees along the route.
With a Freedom Grant, Arcadia, Calif., Lodge No. 2025hosts a day of food and entertainment for veterans staying at the Sepulveda Ambulatory Hospital. Twenty-five Elk volunteers work with youth groups like the Scout Venture Crew to help serve dinner and assemble goodie bags with needed supplies for veterans dealing with disabilities.
After the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Weehawken, N.J., Lodge No. 1456 decided to use a Beacon Grant to start a brand-new, ongoing community clean-up and beautification project. Since then, the Lodge leads a group of Elks, Peer Leadership participants, Cub and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and local church groups to help clear overgrown areas and plant perennial flowers and shrubs in community areas.

Get out and serve your community, not just during major holidays, but all year-round! Consider using a Beacon or a Gratitude Grant to get your Lodge going. Both deadlines are coming up fast, so don’t delay. Learn more at

The Elks National Foundation allocated $9.8 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs through Beacon, Gratitude, Promise and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit

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