Volunteers Go to Work on MLK Day

Around 200 volunteers spend day off serving neighbors

By Mola Lenghi
|  Monday, Jan 16, 2012  |  Updated 11:53 PM CDT
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While some people were off for  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, others rolled up their sleeves for a day of service, something they say shouldn't just be limited to one day in January.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Reporter

While some people were off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, others rolled up their sleeves for a day of service, something they say shouldn't just be limited to one day in January.

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About 200 people spent the holiday volunteering around Arlington in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

You could find them at shelters and churches, on the side of the highway, in neighborhoods and in the woods.

"It's a day on and not a day off," said Stephanie Gillespie, event coordinator for Arlington's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Volunteers young and old did everything from organize charitable donations to paint churches to clean up trash in neighborhoods and around the city.

Like King certainly would have liked, they lent a hand and helped their neighbors.

"Dr. King was about service, and he was a servant to everyone in the community," Gillespie said.

"Dr. Martin Luther King was someone who was an avid giver to the community, and we're just trying to further that message and show that his dream is still alive," said Dontae Robinson, president of the University of Texas at Arlington Chapter of the NAACP.

He and some of his fellow students cleaned up trash along the side of Highway 360.

"A lot of people our age don't give back to the community," Robinson said. "They aren't really active in their community, so we have to work with the little amount of people that we have and we have to show that our generation is a generation worth giving and that we're not lost."

Volunteers also stressed the importance of not limiting service to merely one Monday in January every year.

"It's not something we do for just one day, only on Dr. Martin Luther King Day," Robinson said. "It's something we do throughout the year, and hopefully we can help someone in the long run."

"It should be a lifestyle," Gillespie said. "We are here to serve, we are our brother's keepers."

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