Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech during the march on Washington in august 1963. Photo: National Park Service/WIkimedia Commons

With Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service coming up Jan. 16, the Riverhead Anti-Bias Task Force is hosting a Community Service Expo Saturday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Riverhead Free Library.

A variety of local nonprofit organizations in need of volunteers will be on hand to discuss the work they do and the services they provide.

Residents interested in serving their community as a volunteer will be able to find a match for their interests and abilities, as well as the amount of time they are able to give, whether it’s just a few hours total or an ongoing commitment, the Riverhead Anti-Bias Task Force said in a press release.

“Everyone recognizes the value of community service, but we haven’t all found a way to serve yet,” Anti-Bias Task Force Co-Chair Cindy Clifford said. Community service is “a beautiful way to honor Dr. King and to do good in his memory,” she said.

“Gathering these wonderful local groups makes it easy to find a way to give back while doing something you enjoy and feel good about,” Clifford said. “And we’re even making sure there’s a way for kids to do a service. We’ll have a Make-a-Card Table, so the children can create a personal greeting card to brighten a day for area seniors.”

The birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. was made a federal holiday by legislation enacted in 1983 and first observed in 1986. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the holiday — the third Monday in January — a national day of service. It is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service — making it a “day on, not a day off.”

The 1994 legislation charged the Corporation for National and Community Service, the independent federal agency that runs AmeriCorps, with leading the MLK Day of Service effort nationwide.

The following organizations are participating in the Jan. 7 expo at the Riverhead library:

The Butterfly Effect Project empowers young girls to achieve their dreams. BEP is looking for volunteers to be a guest speaker, run a workshop, help with an activity and many other things.

The Hallockville Museum Farm volunteer opportunities include helping with bake sales, petting zoo and pony parties, being a beekeeping aide, leaf raker, clean-up crew or helping to set up/breakdown, park or greet guests at the Fleece & Fiber Festival (May 20), Spring Tea (June 9), Barn Dance (July 29) Country Fair (Sept 9 & 10) Trunk or Treat (Oct 28).

The shelter dogs of the North Fork Animal Welfare League need volunteers to walk, train, socialize and foster while they wait to be adopted.

The Open Arms Food Pantry at the First Baptist Church needs volunteers to help pick up food, sort donations, stock shelves and prepare bags and boxes for distribution.

The Riverhead Community Awareness Program needs volunteers to teach the “CAP Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program” to Pulaski Street School’s fifth and sixth graders. Both English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed for two to three hours a month during the school year.

Sound Justice Initiative is helping to redirect lives by bringing Liberal Arts education into the Suffolk County jails. Dedicated volunteers are needed to join our college level instructors, help with Quickbooks and maintain social media accounts.

Be part of North Fork Country Kids Animal Rescue by fostering a homeless cat, helping to feed and care for feral cat colonies or by assisting in feral cat rescues and rehabilitation.

As East End Arts supports artists with art-centric events and art and music education, volunteers can support community concerts, the annual Mosaic Street Painting Festival and Teeny Awards, and more. Help in advance in administration assistance or publicity, as well as during events as on-site set-up and guest service.

At the Make-a-Card Table Saturday, kids can create a personal greeting card that will be distributed to area seniors to brighten their day.

Riverhead Free Library is located at 330 Court Street in Riverhead.

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