SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Martin Luther King Day is not just a day for marches and speeches, but a day of nationwide service to give back to your community.
For some, it was a day on, not a day off. There was no shortage of volunteers at the Second Harvest Food Bank warehouse on Martin Luther King Day.
ETSU has a contingency of future leaders who are helping to make backpacks for deserving students to take home around the region. "Students, they learn so much more about the world while they're serving. [They're] experiencing new people, new things, and serving really helps you get down to the basics," volunteer Houston Paul said.
"We do service Saturdays at Volunteer ETSU and have worked around the issue of hunger, so we definitely wanted to work here on this day of service," another ETSU volunteer Blair Fisher says.
On the other side of the warehouse, smaller hands are hard at work. "We're packing boxes with food in them," Girl Scout Erin Limville said.
It's a great experience for the Girl Scout troop as they see where those cans of food they collect throughout the year go to. "When we collect the food it needs to be processed. [They get to see] the process and how it gets to the people it needs to go to," Troop leader Allison Young said.
In Johnson City, a special day of giving at the Carver Community Center, a day of giving blood to the American Red Cross. "It's just something we like to do to give back to the community. [After] what he's done for everybody else, Dr. Martin Luther King. We just like to come and give blood," say Allen and Martha Conley.
They're giving blood and packing food for the hungry on a holiday to think of someone other than yourself. "It's a good day for service, to think about our freedom, and think about other people at a time like this, not ourselves," Troop leader Young said.
"Helping somebody, it's not just for you, it's for everybody that doesn't have stuff," Girl Scout Olivia Young says.