Las Vegans Spend MLK Day Serving Others

LAS VEGAS -- In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., many people across the country spent the holiday giving back, including right here in southern Nevada.

It is all part of the MLK Day of Service. The holiday is considered not a day off, but a day on, and several volunteers spent the day making the community a better place.

"Every community service project we have, I try to sign up for." seventh-grader Frank Perez said.

Frank and his classmates at West Prep Academy cleaned up Lorenzi Park in west Las Vegas. The kids are part of the I Have a Dream Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk children reach their potential.

The group gives local students tools to succeed, while at the same time, teaching them the importance of giving back, especially on a day dedicated to a man who inspired this organization.

"These students need to know that it is a full circle to be part of the community, effective part of the community," Rachel Armstrong with I Have a Dream Foundation said.

On this MLK Day of Service, volunteers were also found pitching in to help build two homes for Habitat for Humanity.

James Gasaway used to live in the neighborhood in North Las Vegas where the homes are being built and says with the economy forcing many out, he is happy to help build affordable housing for families in need.

"It is really exciting a good way for them to start out the year," Gasaway said.

Habitat for Humanity says it constantly needs volunteers. The organization builds up to 10 homes every year.

The students from West Prep Academy, who volunteered their time Monday, also don't plan to stop giving back. They already have volunteer projects lined for next month.

"It feels like I am giving back for good things they gave me and helping out it feels good," seventh-grader Rocio Villarreal said.

The MLK Day of Service is meant to inspire people to give back all year long. For more ideas on how to volunteer, go to mlkday.gov.


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