MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - While many people were off from work and school for Monday's federal holiday, dozens throughout Montgomery decided to still work.
Hands on River Region held a Day of Service event at Highland Gardens Community Center. With just a simple act of raking leaves and picking up trash, more than 200 volunteers followed in Dr. Martin Luther King's footsteps.
"What Dr. King did, he spent every day of his breathing life to actually give back and actually make someone else's life happy or a better place. So that's what we all came out here to do. We wanted to make the community a better place and try to do what we could as students and just improve the lives of those people that are affected by this community," said volunteer Tommy Walker who is a junior at Alabama State University.
In the Highland Gardens community, people painted fences and roofs, created hygiene and first disaster kits, and picked up trash around the center and neighborhood.
"Serving others is also part of helping the earth," said 7-year-old volunteer Ever Moates.
Officials say the acts don't go unnoticed. The center grounds are used every day. In fact, less than an hour after the work wrapped up, children were already out at the center playing.
"It just makes the whole neighborhood have a better feeling about itself and about the people here that somebody does care about them. They're not forgotten and somebody is doing something for them," said Director of Highland Gardens Community Center Marian Helton.
"Sometimes you have to lead by example. So, if they see older people coming back to give to the community, in their eyes they will be like 'okay I should give back too.' I see parents brought their children out to help them with the community service today and that just shows a big step in leading by example," explained volunteer and senior at ASU, Mishae Poteat.