By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 20th annual “Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service” drew tens of thousands of volunteers today from across the Greater Philadelphia area.

Five thousand volunteers converged on Girard College’s campus, headquarters for the day’s event, to participate in 150 service projects — ranging from sending letters to veterans to teaching sign language.

Eleven-year-old Madeline Hoffman created her own service project named after her grandmother, Buddee: she creates bags that hook to the backs of wheelchairs.

“It just makes me happy,” Madeline says.

The signature project of the day’s event focuses on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with volunteers creating voter registration packets and painting signs to be used at the polls.

“It’s just important to give back,” said one volunteer, Bryan.

More than 135,000 volunteers took part in 1,800 service projects across the region.