Houstonians honor Martin Luther King Jr. through day of service

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- From sorting rice to packing boxes, volunteers were hard at work on Monday at the Houston Food Bank.

"We have a lot of people here that are helping us get our food out and feed those hungry people in the community," Director of major guests for Houston Food Bank Paula McKenzie said.

Children as young as 6-years-old came out with their parents, learning the value of teamwork.

In Fifth Ward, students from the University of Houston Downtown picked up trash, debris and even tires from the ditches and roadways.

"We got up because a lot of students share that belief as well. The importance of serving our community," Nina Barbieri with UHD said.

In North Houston at Jefferson Elementary, students pressure washed and scrubbed windows by hand. The task was tedious, but the goal was clear.

"Beautify our neighborhood that surrounds the university," Jose Vazquez, Assistant Director of Student Activities at UHD, explained.

All across town, one thing brought these groups together. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was a reverend and scholar working to end systemic racism and economic inequality. He and his colleagues helped change laws and ultimately the course of America.

Knowing that people we spoke plan to continue that calling through the work of their hands, just like he did.

"Dr. King said 'everybody can be great because anyone can serve,' so we're here to serve," Sharon Beshouri with Shell, said with a smile.

MLK, Jr. and George Washington are the only two Americans whose birthday is a national holiday.

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