Take Kids, Volunteer at Free MLK Birthday Party


Published:

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Michele Paccione

During the first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Party six years ago, my then 2-year-old and 4-year old sons kept asking, “Where is he?” When I asked, “Who?” they declared, “Martin, of course!” They could not understand why someone would miss their own birthday party and were confused when we started singing “Happy Birthday” to someone who was not there. 

That confusion launched a discussion that we are continuing six years later. I remain grateful to that event for paving the way for me to begin having a difficult discussion with my children around both the civil rights era and continuing racial injustice. Although the boys’ questions have become more sophisticated, such as “Wait — does this mean that if I was alive back then, I would not have been able to ride on the same bus with my best friend?” they are no easier to answer. That is why I appreciate attending this event every year, which makes the civil rights movement and Dr. King’s spirit come alive for children at every stage of their development.

This birthday party is a win-win for families. Parents get to do something meaningful to honor Dr. King while also contributing food/clothing to local families in need.  Children get to learn about Dr. King’s legacy in a fun and interactive way while also enjoying birthday cake, crafts and story time and — who am I kidding — the parents enjoy the cake, too! 

This popular, family-friendly, free event draws on average about 2,000 participants each year, spread throughout Northgate Mall. There is something here for all ages. From a photo exhibit documenting Dr. King’s visit to Durham to an African fashion show performance, from the stories to be shared by Sen. Floyd B. McKissick Jr. about growing up as a child at the heart of Durham’s Civil Rights Movement to English/Spanish story times, from kids’ Zumba to a community service project, all comers will be able to celebrate MLK Day in a way that feels right to them. 

Here are the details:

What:  A kid-friendly birthday party for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In continuing Dr. King’s commitment to service, participants are asked to donate nonperishable food (especially peanut butter, canned meat, cereal and corn), gently used children’s winter clothing and coats, or new underwear/ socks for local families in need served by Urban Ministries of Durham. Voter registration and information will also be available.

When:  The party will take place on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 18.  The party will start at 10:30 and culminate at 1 p.m. with the singing of Happy Birthday to Dr. King and the sharing of cake.

Where: Northgate Mall’s Center Court. Northgate Mall is located at 1058 West Club Blvd. in Durham.

Sponsors:  This event is sponsored by MomsRising.org, Northgate Mall, Lango Kids RTP, Durham Community Martin Luther King, Jr. Steering Committee, Mama Afrika, Action NC, Durham Mothers Club, Durham Chapter of Mocha Moms Inc., Chapel Hill/ Carrboro Mothers Club, Kidpower NC, Durham County Library, AB Fitness, Men of Honor, Kids Voting Durham, El Centro Hispano, Moore Muzik, El Pueblo, Si A Las Licencias NC, SoDu Parents Posse, BUMP the Triangle.

Volunteers are needed. Please let us know if you can help or if you have questions by contacting Beth@momsrising.org.

Jessica is a Durham mother of two and a member of MomsRising.org.

 

Discover more events honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
 

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Cost: $70/month

Where:
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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Art Walk featuring local galleries and artist studios in historic downtown Hillsborough on the Last Friday of every month (no Art Walk in December).

Cost: FREE

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough (multiple locations)
102 N. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Hillsborough Arts Council
Telephone: 919-643-2500
Contact Name: Torey Mishoe
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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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The Engage Art Contest is a juried competition for original Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts. The topic is the Spiritual Battle described in Ephesians 6:10-20 and related...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
PO Box 78951
Charlotte, NC  28271
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Sponsor: Engage Art Contest
Telephone: 980-999-1447
Contact Name: Ranika Chaney
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Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
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Farmers markets are essential to the livelihood of farmers and food producers and are exempt from the Governor's Stay at Home Order (page 6). Farmers markets offer an efficient way for residents to...

Cost: free

Where:
Holly Springs Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Farmers Market Coordinator
Telephone: 919-567-4010
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PARENTS JOIN OUR DHHS APPROVEDCPR/AED & First Aid Certification ClassesFoster parents are required to be CPR & First Aid certified. Parents, bring your child to class with you. Children 10 years...

Cost: 50-80

Where:
Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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PARENTS JOIN OUR DHHS APPROVEDCPR/AED & First Aid Certification ClassesFoster parents are required to be CPR & First Aid certified. Must register in advance. Space is limited. Parents, bring your...

Cost: 50-80

Where:
Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
Website »

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Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Join one of our talented Mid-South Fencers’ Club coaches for a one hour virtual lesson to the fast paced and exciting sport of Olympic Fencing! This will be a FREE ONLINE class. All you need is...

Cost: free

Where:
Mid-South Fencers' Club ONLINE
125 N. Gregson St.
DURHAM, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Mid-South Fencers' Club
Telephone: 919-286-3100
Contact Name: Jeff Kallio
Website »

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It's time to play... TAKEOUT BINGO!!!  Take a screenshot or download the game board. Mark off the locations you visit. Share your progress on Facebook and Instagram using #CRTakeoutBingo. Send...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Crossroads Plaza
Crossroad Blvd
Suite 215
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Crossroads Plaza/ Kimco Realty
Telephone: 864-979-2291
Contact Name: Katie Earnhardt
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
Website »

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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
Website »

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Get your summer vibes going at the 1st Annual Hubb’s Beach Blast at Hubb’s Farm in Clinton, NC.  Hubb’s Beach Blast will feature two of beach music industry’s top groups, Jim Quick and...

Cost: 20-50

Where:
Hubb's Farm
10276 US HWY 421 N
Clinton, NC  28328
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Sponsor: Hubb's Farm
Telephone: 910-564-6709
Contact Name: Tammy Peterson
Website »

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