ROANOKE, Va. – Many people have Martin Luther King Junior Day off of work or school, but community leaders say it’s not supposed to be just another day off.
“A day of service, a day on not a day off,” Kianna Price Marshall with the United Way and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority said. Price Marshall is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
On Monday, the two organizations partnered together to bring COVID-19 vaccine information to the community.
“Covid is still alive and well,” Price Marshall said. “So, we want to make sure people are aware of the best ways to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
They went to around a thousand houses in Northwest and Southeast Roanoke.
“These quadrants of the city remain to have the lowest vaccination rates,” Price Marshall said.
Alpha Kappa Alpha has a mission of service, which is why its members came out to canvas the neighborhoods.
“It’s not that we’re just there for one another, but we’re there for the community,” she said. “The swarm of pink and green that you’ve seen today truly represent the hearts of these women.”
Another group rolled up their sleeves in Salem - serving in a different way.
Roanoke College students came together to turn land filled with rubble into what will be a meadow for new life and growth.
Rachel Collins is an environmental professor overseeing the project.
“They’ve made this commitment to the environment and so they’re using today and using their sweat equity to do something good for the environment,” Collins said.
Olivia Aarons is one of the students that dedicated her day to serving.
“I believe Martin Luther King Jr. was very into community leadership, and so a lot of people don’t necessarily think about the ties between environmentalism, environmental disadvantages, and community leadership,” Aarons said.
No matter the project, Price Marshall wants people to know that their act of service means something.
“It can be just saying hello to your neighbor, bringing in their groceries, but it can be the smallest things that have the biggest impacts,” she said.