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MLK Day Is Day Of Service For Many

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) - In addition to the marade held in Denver on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, hundreds of volunteers honored Dr. King by dedicating the day to service.

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They came together by taking King's message to heart and devoting time to helping others.

For many folks, living Dr. King's legacy was the best way to spend the holiday.

In Sheridan, blowing snow and bitter cold couldn't keep volunteers with Americorps from helping build a dozen homes. Plenty of indoor painting kept them warm.

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Volunteers help paint houses with Habitat for Humanity. (credit: CBS)

They were working on Habitat for Humanity's Sheridan Square community. It's a place that families in need of a hand up will eventually call home. The MLK holiday was the perfect day to help.

"We consider today a day on and not a day off," said volunteer Carlee Flynn.

By building Habitat houses, Flynn and her fellow Americorps volunteers were honoring Dr. King's message of creating community.

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"By creating housing opportunities for people who might not have access to that," said Flynn.

While the volunteers with Habitat were in Sheridan doing some building, across town in north Denver, Kaiser Permanente volunteers were farming.

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It was indoor farming at "The GrowHaus". The nonprofit is dedicated to food production, food education and food distribution.

John and Justin Balderson prepared pots for seedlings.

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"My wife works for Kaiser," said John.

Julie, Jessica and Joseph Balderson cut out material for education about food. Giving back on MLK day was a family affair.

"Martin Luther King told us all to help each other and that's what we believe in doing," said Julie.

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More than 550 folks from Kaiser Permanente volunteered at 35 nonprofits on this day. On the back of the green shirts worn by Kaiser volunteers it says, "Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something."

Kathy Walsh is CBS4's Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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