MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While many attended events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, others decided giving back was another way to honor his legacy.

Volunteers flooded organizations across the Twin Cities. More than 4,000 volunteers donated time to dozens of organizations across the Twin Cities on Monday. It was their way of honoring the legacy of a man who gave his life in service to all Americans.

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For these volunteers, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a smile on a child’s face.

“It brings a lot of joy to my life and hopefully it’s a fun interaction for her and my other friends I met volunteering here today. Volunteering is a great way to get to know people in your community you might not otherwise get to know,” Laura LaCroix-Dalluhn said.

People Serving People helps homeless families in the Twin Cities. Monday, it got a little help from the corporate sector, employees from fortune 500 companies, who live and work in the community.

“It’s a really important opportunity to give back and be together as a community instead of doing our own things on this meaningful day,” LaCroix-Dalluhn said.

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It’s their way of honoring the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Representative Keith Ellison was amongst the volunteers. He said serving others is what Dr. King would have wanted from all of us.

“You’re extending yourself to help other citizens to make sure their lives are better,” Ellison said.

“We have 12 companies participating, each company has 25 volunteers and pretty much all the companies have surpassed that,” Laura Collins said.

There were a number of volunteers who worked with kids at Jerry Gamble’s Boys and Girls Club in north Minneapolis. It’s this interaction that has a positive impact on young lives, as well as change the lives of volunteers.

“Maybe it will bring you about a new awareness about how we make sure this is a land of opportunity for everybody,” Ellison said.

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Volunteers will continue their service in the community all this week and you don’t have to be a part of corporate America to participate. Everyone is welcome to help and there is a list of organizations looking for volunteers this week.

Reg Chapman