Instead of taking a day off for their Martin Luther King holiday, some chose to take a day on and give back to their community.

" /> Mississippians Use MLK Holiday As ‘Day of Service’ | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Mississippians Use MLK Holiday As ‘Day of Service’

By Daniel Cherry | Published 16 Jan 2012 05:38pm | comments

Thousands of Mississippians used their Martin Luther King holiday as an opportunity to give back to their community. MPB's Daniel Cherry has more.

As the nation paused to remember the legacy of Dr. King, some went into action volunteering their time to improve their community. About 450 Belhaven University students like Alex Williams, Kaitilin Mosher, and Jody Chance worked on projects in Jackson, from beautifying city space to preparing blighted buildings for demolition.

"They have some people to come help out here," says Belhaven quarterback Alex Williams, "but when you can bring 90 guys here that are pretty fit and in good condition to do various tasks around the neighborhood, around these buildings. It's second to none."

"I was really bummed that I didn't get a chance to do it last year, I was sick. So it was really awesome to wake up this morning and be like, 'Ta Da! I get to come help' That's awesome.", says Mosher.

Graduate Assistant tennis coach Jody Chance says,"It's not for us to pat ourselves on the back and say,'Hey we did good.', but to remember a man who led millions of people to teach people to serve others and treat people equally."

Belhaven has participated in the Day of Service for more than a decade. Joe Thrasher is the head football coach. He says it's a perfect way to remember Dr. King's legacy.

"It's a chance to give back and do what he did. He laid the path for people serving other people and for people doing it the right way and doing it from a godly standpoint, and that's what we want to do."

Places like the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity had an influx of volunteers yesterday. John Perkins is the Executive Director of the Spencer Perkins Center in Jackson, offering community outreach. He says he hopes that spirit continues throughout the year.

"We need volunteers of all sorts. We need volunteers for our after school program. We need interns in the summer, and to be a light on the hill, shining in this community."

Congress designated the Martin Luther King holiday as a national day of service in 1994.

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