Office of Student Life

MLK Jr. Day of Service

MLK Jr. Day of Service 2024 will be Monday, January 15!

Monday, January 15 is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - a day to honor the incredible legacy that Dr. King left on the world. Because the university is closed, it may be tempting to stay at home and finish binge watching your favorite show. Instead, challenge yourself to do as Dr. King would and serve your community. Dr. King once said, “The time is always right to do the right thing.” What better way to honor that sentiment than by making a day off a day on? 

On this holiday, Pay It Forward, a student cohort within the Office of Student Life dedicated to service, organizes a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service each year for Ohio State students. Whether you volunteer together with your student organization, a group of friends, or want to get involved individually, all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are invited to join Pay It Forward to honor MLK Jr. by giving back and engaging in a morning of community service.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in 2-3 hours of community service with a local nonprofit in a variety of community issues, such as homeless/houseless citizen support, mental health advocacy, healthy food access, child welfare, and support for our frontline workers. These service opportunities will take place both on and off campus. If you are assigned to an off campus site, buses will be provided. Site assignment will take place when you arrive on January 15. 

All participants should be at the Ohio Union by 8:30 a.m. on Monday, January 15. 

Are you looking to serve as an individual? 

We are so excited to have you join us as an individual at MLK Jr. Day of Service! There will be no pre-registration for individuals - registration will begin the day of at 8:30 a.m. at the Ohio Union. 

Are you looking to register your organization or group to serve together? 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for MLK Jr. Day of Service! Pre-registration allows student organization members and groups larger than five to have preference of being paired together at the same service site(s). All student groups must pre-register by no later than January 11. Pre-registration can be done at the following link:

Do you want volunteer to be a site leader?

Site Leaders are volunteering students who serve as peer leaders and liasons for the MLK Jr. Day of Service team for the day of the event. Site Leaders help to ensure a successful service engagement by reaching out to the MLK Jr. Day of Service team in the event of any troubleshooting needs and provide energy and enthusiasm to fellow students for the day of service.

Students can register to be site leaders at the following link by no later than January 11 to allow time to complete the brief online training:

All Site Leaders will receive a Starbucks gift card as a thank you for going above and beyond!

Are you an agency looking to participate?

Agency registration for MLK Jr. Day of Service can be completed here:

If you are interested in partnering with Pay It Forward for a community service opportunity during the 2023-2024 academic year, please email


Please email