Celebrating the legacy of MLK through service

The legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. is living on through service. Hundreds of Austinites spent their Saturday volunteering in his honor.  

One of those volunteers, Molly Richards, says she's giving back this weekend to someone who gave so much.

"Men like Martin Luther King, Jr., they provided so many opportunities for us. Because of their effort and their incredible service, they created such a better world for us. The only way we can really give back is to also participate in community service," says Richards.
   
Richards and more than 500 other volunteers spent their Saturday cleaning up a three-mile stretch that runs from Tannehill Road to Chicon Street, on the east side of IH35. It was part of the 16th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  

"What better way to pay homage to Dr. King then to clean up the street that bears his name in Austin, Texas," says State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, District 46.

The project that State Representative Dawnna Dukes started 16 years ago is still going strong.

"Since then, the community day of service has expanded throughout the city. People are volunteering everywhere their time, of their heart, of their concern for their community. To clean up and do good deeds," says Dukes.

This year's clean-up was sponsored by the United Way of Greater Austin and Keep Austin Beautiful. Kickoff began at J.J. Seabrook Park at 9:30 Saturday morning. There were also several indoor service projects.  Austin Mayor Steve Adler was there to show his support.

"This is a wonderful day. Dr. King said, 'the most profound question that we could ever ask ourselves is how we could help others and how we could help our community,' and this group today is answering that question," says Mayor Adler.

Last year more than 500 volunteers came together to complete six community improvement projects throughout Austin. This year they were just as successful.

"This is an exciting time for the city. We're changing government, we have new districts representing new people. The community is really coming together this time in Austin and this is just another example of that," says Adler.

The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 19th at 9:00 a.m. If you want to attend, they will start with a short program at the MLK statue on the University of Texas campus. Everyone will then march over to the historic Huston-Tillotson University.

A festival with all types of vendors and local artists will be at that location and last until 3:00 p.m.  

This year, marchers are being asked to donate canned goods or non-perishable food items, which will be given to the Capital Area Food Bank.

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