Volunteers make MLK holiday a day on, not a day off

By Maira Ansari - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Governments, businesses, and schools were closed to commemorate Dr. King, who challenged each of us to be a better version of ourselves. But, instead of making it a day off, some made it a day on the job in a special way.

At the Boys and Girls Club on Greenwood Avenue, volunteers from the Home Depot are giving back. They pulled out the paint brushes, changed some light bulbs, and repaired a few doors.

"One of the staff members actually commented that this is the first time in 30 years there's been a fresh coat of paint," said Home Depot manager Joe Autry.

Autry says its' the Boys and Girls Club couldn't afford.

"There may not be several people to witness this but, there is a lot of youth that uses this room. We are just glad to make it better for them," said Autry.

Dr. King wanted to be remembered by the way he helped others. Learning from his life, is the best way Joe Autry says Dr. King can be honored.

"I think he'd be very proud," said Autry. "I think he'd be here with a paint roller in fact."

Across town, Dr. King's voice echoed through the hallway at the Americana Community Center.

Students from U of L were on their hands and knees, cleaning the walls, retouching paint on this rainbow, and organized the community center that helps immigrants and refugees in the Louisville area.

"I could have been sleeping in," said U of L Junior Kaitlyn Moore. "I think Dr. King would be supportive and proud. He wanted everybody to act in our community. What a perfect day than to go out and serve our community."

More than 100 volunteers from U of L were around area organizations donating their time. Employees from Home Depot also volunteered at other locations in Louisville, Elizabethtown, and New Albany.

Between the four locations, Home Depot spent $20,000 in making improvements.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.