PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 23rd annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service put an estimated 150,000 volunteers to work at 1,800 service projects across the region.
Five thousand volunteers participated in dozens of service projects at the historic Girard College. The theme for this year is the Poor People’s Campaign — the fight to end economic injustice launched by Dr. King months before his assassination.
“We are fighting for the same thing now that we fought for in the 60s, the 40s, the 30s, the 20s,” said Karen Asper Jordan, the president of the Philadelphia Freedom Fighters.
Jordan fought alongside Cecil B Moore and Dr. King in the 60s to desegregate Girard College and volunteered today as she has for years.
“It is always about equality and justice,” she said.
Jose Martinez of the Veterans Group gave away blankets, clothing and toiletries for vets in transition.
“It takes veterans to really empower other veterans,” said Martinez.
At 14, Asia Johns says she wants to do her part to hold up Dr. King’s legacy.
“He helped us, so we can help other’s too,” said Asia.
“If you want to lead, you’ve got to serve,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, participated on Monday’s day of service.
The event included a job fair, a wellness expo, and a kid’s carnival but volunteers placed a big emphasis on fighting poverty and hunger.
For many here, the legacy Dr. King left behind stands for so much: a symbol of freedom and of hope.
“Hope is really the great equalizer. If you have hope, you can keep going,” said Paula Smith-Benson.
Dr. King would have been 89 today.