Tuesday, January 21 2014, 01:15 PM EST
Youngsters Take Part in MLK Day of Service
Hundreds of people volunteering on their day off and it's all in he spirit of one man. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr day is the only national holiday recognized as a day of service.
On Monday, the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy gymnasium was filled with sounds of work.
"I just wanted to give back to the community and help out," said 11 year old Lauren Adamson, "just to celebrate and be thankful that every race can come together and be respectful."
CGLA works to prepare young women for higher education. Today, their gym got a facelift from many people who have no connection to the school.
"MLK's legacy is living on, his mission is here," said Elain Swafford, the school's Director, "loving people and giving back. It's just an exciting day"
James McKissic is the Director of Multicultural affairs with the City of Chattanooga. He had the idea of revitalizing the gym.
"An idea starts like a seed and just grows and grows," said McKissic.
The message spread to volunteers like Michelle Wallace and her son Jacob.
"I'm happy to be out here getting dirty and having fun," said Jacob holding a paint roller.
Wallace says King's model of service is the purpose of today.
"If you can't help out and give back to your neighbors then you're pretty much not doing what you're supposed to as a human being," said Michelle.
The painting and cleaning represents one example of King's teachings. Organizers say they hope the message of love and kindness will spread for years to come.
"I hope next year more people come out and people are inspired to start their own projects," said McKissic.
by Drew Bollea