Thousands sign up for MLK service projects - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Thousands sign up for MLK service projects

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MLK Day holiday has become a day of service, and Birmingham has thousands of people who will be giving back all weekend.

There is no shortage of service events going on leading up to Monday, and no shortage of volunteers ready and willing to lend a hand. Dozens of organizations in the community will come together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I know that he would have a big smile on his face. He would be excited that everyone is coming together, collaborating in this diverse way," said Bob Boylan, head of community outreach at Hands on Birmingham.

Beginning Saturday, the organization, along with more than one-thousand volunteers will spread out across five counties to begin painting, raking and shoveling their way through communities.

"It just excites me and I'm just passionate about this, getting other people engaged in what I love doing, having all these people come out to help this community just motivates me to continue this great work," said Boylan.

Hands on Birmingham has scheduled 48 volunteer opportunities to coincide with MLK Day. It may seem like a lot, but Ahmad Ward, with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, says it's fitting for the 50th anniversary of a historical movement.

"Having all these different people involved, I think it goes to the heart of the dream. There will be people from all different cultures here. That would have been illegal fifty years ago to have all these different people here in one place all of us together," said Ward.

Boylan said, "it 's a way that we can honor and respect all the work that he did. And this year being the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement in Birmingham it just ties in with all those great works that are going on as well."

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