Dozens of children walked a handful of blocks from the Hurt Park community in Roanoke. They stood up against area issues like domestic violence and bullying, every step of the way.
"I think that this is the perfect opportunity to give young people a voice and to help them understand that they can be leaders today," said Sarah Jane Lawrence.
Around 400 volunteers helped out in communities like hurt park throughout the day. It all was part of Global Youth Service Day. It is a worldwide day of service in its12th year in Roanoke and 25th year overall. Some helped prepare meals for dozens at the local rescue mission.
"It means a lot to me because the fact that I'm doing things for others shows that I just don't care about myself." said Malik Morris.
"It's kind of nice to bring in people from different backgrounds and we're here for different reasons but we're all coming to serve the same places," said Katlyn Griffin.
While other volunteers painted messages on tiles for a future mural in theRoanoke's West End, or helped plant a garden, also in Hurt Park.
"We are just trying to get the message out there that you can grow your own food, you can be self sustaining and you can eat healthy at low costs," said Meredith Withers.
They are local volunteers working together as once troubled communities aim to become a better place to live.