You wouldn't find them on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in bed enjoying the extra hours of sleep or lounging around the house in their pajamas watching reality show or crime drama marathons.
No, about 20 volunteers spent their Monday morning and afternoon pushing wheelbarrows full of large rocks, building a fence with their hands, laying mulch, getting dirty and working hard at Buckhead's Blue Heron Nature Preserve.
The volunteers of different races and ages as young as early 20s to late 60 worked side by side to help beautify the tucked-away preserve, even in temperatures as low as 44 degrees, according to The Weather Channel. The volunteers were among thousands who served their Atlanta communities by participating in various service projects on King Day.
“It was really inspiring because there were so many young people,” said Nancy Jones, executive director of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. She said that people in their 20s and 30s can be “a hard group to reach” because they are so career-driven. “A lot of them stayed past the leaving time because they started a task and didn’t want to leave it unfinished, and that was really special.”
Several of the young people Jones described were members of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals, a group of young professionals dedicated to serving the Atlanta community through community and social activism.
“Today was about Dr. King,” said 30-year-old James Williams, community service chairman for ULGAYP.
Williams said he wants to make sure that the organization’s monthly community service projects are diverse and meet various needs in the Greater Atlanta area.
Being able to serve on the day the nation remembers King was significant for Williams.
“That’s probably the most important thing about today,” Williams told Buckhead Patch. “It’s about giving of your time to make the community better. It’s very fulfilling.”