mlk day of service
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MLK Day of Service: Taking Steps to Better Our World

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Achilles International

On January 20, 2020, as we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we’ll also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of MLK Day being designated as a national day of service. As the only federal holiday that is also a day of service, MLK Day invites Americans to go out and volunteer in their own communities – “a day on, not a day off.”

Here at the Ad Council, service is at the core of so much of what we do. To mark the occasion, several Ad Council staff members shared their favorite ways to give back to their communities on this day of service and all year long. Read on to learn more about the incredible organizations they’re part of and how volunteering can make a positive difference.

Amanda Kwong (pictured above, on left side) | Assistant Campaign Manager

  • Volunteer Organization: Achilles International
  • The Role: Every Sunday, I’m paired up with a visually impaired athlete, and we go on a 3-6 mile run together around downtown D.C. I’m there to support the athlete in any way they would like – whether that be building a running regiment, training for a half marathon or simply building self-confidence through the art of running.
  • Why is giving back to the community – outside of the walls of the Ad Council – so important to you? As adults, I believe that it is important to have hobbies. You need to be doing something for yourself outside of work that speaks to your core values. It helps you see the world and your overall life in a different way, and I think we all need that perspective sometimes.

Alan Estrada | Assistant Manager, Media

  • Volunteer Organization: Capital Partners for Education
  • The Role: I mentor an underprivileged teen from my DC neighborhood. We’re currently working on his first resume and getting him his first job
  • Why is giving back to the community – outside of the walls of the Ad Council – so important to you? Because we can always do more. We all have the ability to change someone’s life for the better, and I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to be that positive change.

Carolina Treviño | Digital Project Manager

  • Volunteer Organization: TIDE Film Festival
  • The Role: I volunteer in a variety of ways, pitching in where needed. Mainly, I help with the festival’s newsletters, as well as ticketing during the festival.
  • What does volunteering at this organization mean to you? It means a lot as a person who loves films deeply but sees the gap in representation. The films we show during the festival every year tell stories that are so unique and beautiful, and they highlight stories that are often marginalized by the industry. This role helps me feel like I’m making an impact, however small, and helping to create more space and resources for creatives of color who are making a name for themselves in the industry.

Christine Medina | VP, Digital Product Management

  • Volunteer Organization: DOROT
  • The Role: I deliver packages to homebound seniors and enjoy hour-long visits in their homes.
  • What does volunteering at this organization mean to you? Loneliness and social isolation have a huge impact on your health. Older adults who have difficulty leaving their homes are at an even higher risk. As a volunteer at Dorot, I’m grateful to be in a position to change that. Dorot connects older adults to their greater community through visits and package delivery programs with volunteers of all ages. I know I’m helping someone tremendously by just giving an hour of my day. I also get to learn so much about their story and get some of their wisdom. It’s a wonderful gift.

Emily Kostic | Director, Public Relations, Social Media & Brand

  • Volunteer Organization: Junior League of New York
  • The Role: I am a co-chair of the G.O.A.L. committee, which works to empower at-risk young women in east Harlem to explore higher, vocational and technical educational opportunities.
  • Why is giving back to the community – outside of the walls of the Ad Council – so important to you? We are each so passionate about various issues and causes, and it’s not enough for me to sit on the sidelines and to not at least try to have an impact on the issues that mean the most to me. Where I can, in my own small way, I try to make a difference. I believe it’s the small, incremental steps that we can all take in our own lives can lead to the bigger, ultimate impact of changing the course of a cause or issue.

Lina Renzina | Manager, Talent Relations & Partnerships

  • Volunteer Organization: Immigration Equality
  • The Role: I serve on the Host Committee for Immigration Equality’s annual fundraiser called SHINE. I’ve advised them on event, marketing and talent strategy and helped with some talent outreach. I hope to do more this year!
  • What does volunteering at this organization mean to you? Immigration Equality is such a critical organization in the fight against human rights violations. I feel personally connected to as a member of the LGBTQ+ community who came to this country as an immigrant.

Sean Williams | Manager, Public Relations & Social Media

  • Volunteer Organization: English Language Center at LaGuardia Community College
  • The Role: I volunteer as an ESL writing tutor for adults who'd like to improve their English skills.
  • What does volunteering at this organization mean to you? It's nice to work with inquisitive people who have that self-improvement streak. I feel like I'm helping them develop their professional potential and their understanding of American slang and culture.

As we spend this upcoming Monday reflecting on, honoring and celebrating all that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did for our country, let’s remember to take some time to give back to our own communities – because if we all take one small action to better our world, it can add up to one big step in the right direction. As we like to say at the Ad Council, together we make progress.