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Sacramento volunteers use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to volunteer | Life

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Sacramento volunteers use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to volunteer

SACRAMENTO, CA  - The U.S. Postal Service is not delivering mail, schools across the country are closed and many Americans have the day off work. But many Americans are using Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day on, not a day off.


In 1994, Congress designated the MLK, Jr. dederal holiday as a national day of service to encourage Americans to go out into their communities and volunteer.

Hands On Sacramento coordinates community projects year round, but MLK, Jr. Day is an especially popular day to volunteer. Deanna Berg, Director of Hands On Sacramento, says hundreds of people in the greater Sacramento area were volunteering at 13 different local projects ranging from painting museum walls, and cleaning up parks to landscaping schools and fixing bicycles.

Berg says she hopes volunteers will be encouraged on MLK, Jr. Day to give back year-round.

"The idea is to connect them to what's going on, for them to see what the needs are and hopefully be inspired to do more. That it's not just a day of service, but a life of service," Berg said.

One of Hands on Sacramento's MLK projects includes beautifying PS 7 school in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento. Volunteers were spending the morning scraping old and peeling paint, cleaning windows and landscaping around the campus.

Jim Scheible, principal of PS 7, said he hopes his students will learn about the importance of volunteerism.

"We want our students to grow and not just be on grade level or above grade level in math and English. It's more important that they be great human beings and great human beings need to learn how to give back to society and make everyone else better, including themselves," Scheible said. "So, it's really important that we model that for students and we get students here to see what it looks like to come in on your day off and provide some work and service for the school."


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