Not everyone chose to take today off. In fact, a lot of people went to work on this holiday for the greater good.
For Corddaryl Woodford, that meant counting water bottles to go into special coaching kits for the organization Girls on the Run. It meant finding a place in this small space that today is
big with volunteers.
"Instead of taking the day off, I decided to come here and give back through public service for those who are less fortunate," said Woodford, a first-year law school student at Seattle University. He and fellow students with the university's Black Law Student Association do this every year.
Marilyn Johnson is a paraeducator. She volunteered with the non-profit Zeno, an organization that turns poker cards into kids games designed to make math fun.
"I know of many that struggle and just want to feel like i can help out in some way," said Johnson.
It was Dr. King's mission after all. And in that equation, it all adds up to something invaluable.
"He's encouraged people to get to know each other. I didn't know a single person when
I walked in and I think I've met some of the nicest people I know," Johnson said.
It is a growing movement. Turning what for many is a day off into a day of action. Washington already ranks ninth for volunteerism and at Marra Farm it showed. Ten-year-old Caitlin Mazzuca
is getting her hands dirty, digging into something she admits she wasn't sure about.
"I didn't really want to come," she said.
But it's something her mother believes is bigger than them both.
"Because it's the right thing to do," said Amanda Mazzuca. "It's great to give back to the community we get tow ork for and I hope it does become a tradition."
United Way of King County says in the six years since it started partnering with agencies for the Martin Luther King Day of Service, the number of volunteers has more than doubled. Initially
there were 800 volunteers, this year there are about 2,000.
More information on United Way volunteer opportunities