Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. through service - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. through service

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day many were off school and work. But instead of spending the day at home, some decided to volunteer their time having a day on, not a day off.

Kids in Cedar Rapids spent part of their day making postcards for members of the military and creating anti-bullying posters to hang in schools. It was part of an Americorps event to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

"He helped many people even though lots of people hated him and just did bad stuff to him," said Jonea Pledge, Student.

Americorps wanted to show kids how they can serve their community.

"It builds confidence for them," said Kristin Norfolk, Americorps. "It builds a sense of connectiveness to their community."

Adults lent a hand Monday, too, by rolling up their sleeves and donating blood.

"It's a federal holiday, I didn't have to work today and giving blood was an easy way for me to sort of help other people today," said Kate Lavell. 

There's a blood drive every Monday at the Grant Wood Chapter of the American Red Cross. Usually 25 people come in.  But on the holiday, more than 60 registered and nurses say it couldn't have come at a better time.

"Winter is always kind of a hard time for us to make sure that we keep that blood supply stable, in particular right now because the flu is so rampant, that's really kind of effecting our blood supply," said Susan Siems, Registered Nurse.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1983. In 1994 congress decided to designate the holiday as a day of service to honor King's legacy.

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