Austinites give back in a major way for Martin Luther King Day

Saturday, Janaury 14 marked the seventh annual United Way Capital Area MLK Day of Service. The MLK Day of Service serves as a day to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” More than 400 volunteers from all across the Austin community came together to complete service projects that supported 13 local nonprofits and schools.

David Guzman, Executive Director of Positive Footprint, led a team of young men who volunteered with the Texas Ramp Project to build a wheelchair ramp for a member of the community. “Our guys loved the experience and are already talking about trying to arrange another volunteer event with them in the summer,” said David. “It was great to get them involved in work where they could actually see the result of their effort.”

Webb student weeds a flower bed at J.J. Pickle Elementary

Leading up to the MLK Day of Service, United Way’s Webb Middle School volunteer leaders conducted interviews in the St. John’s neighborhood to identify and prioritize projects they could take on to help their community. Mainly, students had a strong desire to give back to their elementary school, J.J. Pickle. The team, led by seventh grade student Noel Mondragon, weeded the garden and flower beds, harvested vegetables, planted butterfly vines, cleared a pond, repaired compost bins and picked up trash on the campus grounds. When the project was complete, student volunteers reflected on the experience. “I feel really happy and pleased with our work. I feel like we accomplished something that helped our community,” volunteer leader Noel Mondragon said.

Special thanks to our community partners who help make MLK Day of Service a day to remember: Austin Area Heritage Council, Huston-Tillotson, Rep. Dawnna Dukes, Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Ala Carte Catering.

See news coverage of our MLK Day of Service below:

Participating in MLK Day of Service is just one of the many ways you can volunteer in your community. Visit to find both ongoing and episodic volunteer opportunities that support hundreds of nonprofit agencies throughout the year.

SAVE THE DATE: United Way Capital Area’s Spring Days of Caring, April 19 – 21.

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