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Through Service Virginians Helping Build Dr. King's Dream

PHOTO: People around Virginia and across the nation are honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through volunteer service on his birthday. Photo from the U.S. National Archives.
PHOTO: People around Virginia and across the nation are honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through volunteer service on his birthday. Photo from the U.S. National Archives.
January 19, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. – The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered and honored today through acts of service in Virginia and around the country.

The federal holiday became a national day of service in 1994.

Samantha Warfield, a spokeswoman for the Corporation for National and Community Service, says every year, more and more people become engaged and want to give back to their community.

"Young people have grown up in school learning about what Dr. King does through the lens of service, whether through service learning projects or through history lessons,” she points out. “And we hope that Dr. King would be proud of a day that's named in his honor and the work that's being done."

The nationwide activities include such things as weatherizing homes, sorting food donations, cleaning up neighborhoods or creating care packages for the homeless.

Volunteermatch.org lists nearly a dozen local events in Virginia.

Michael Shermis, an event specialist with the Community and Family Resources Service Department for the City of Bloomington, says service projects are being held at more than 40 locations around that city.

He adds that engaging children in today's projects can inspire a lifetime of volunteering.

"Once kids get involved and then they see what they can do and how they can affect other people and what a difference they can make, you hope that they continue wanting to do it and helping out and seeing that there are other people out there that are less fortunate than them," she points out.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA