MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Here in Minnesota and across the country, it was a day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for all he did for the civil rights movement.

That dream is still alive and we found plenty of people honoring Dr. King on Monday by giving back in whatever way they can. Many people across the Twin Cities used their day off today to truly honor Dr. King by serving others.

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Thousands realized Monday that giving a little can make a big difference to someone else.

“It feels really great to take time out of my busy schedule and volunteer in the community,” said Tim Villanueva.

Villanueva spent his day off from teaching at North High School helping others.

“There is a lot of work to be done in the community,” said Villanueva.

Tim is one of 100 AmericaCorps members who are already dedicating a year of their life to national service with College Possible, giving back in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day to me is all about reflecting on Dr. King and his legacy and a lot of that is about service, service to others,” said Kumar Balasubrahmanyan.

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The work done by volunteers will help the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Brighton be better prepared to help families in need. Volunteers say it’s what Dr. King would have wanted.

Across the metro in Golden Valley, it was bring your child to service day at Second Harvest Heartland.

“This is our second shift today and it’s been a really fun way to hang out together for Mom and son. It’s been a really fun experience for us,” said Natalie Carlson.

Natalie Carlson and her son, Matthew, a boy scout with troop 570 in Plymouth, have been here all day.

For this family, volunteering on this day is more than just a project to earn a merit badge.

“It’s just fun to be together with other people in the community and a common purpose and I think that’s been our conversation about how we can all work together and have a good time together as a community,” Carlson said.

Instilling a sense of community and service in hopes of developing the next leader.

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Volunteers we spoke with say although this holiday is often celebrated with lunches and noteworthy speakers, they say nothing is more fulfilling than knowing that you helped lighten the load for organizations that serve others.

Reg Chapman