Americans looking to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a way that honored his legacy of activism and service got to work on Monday, whether by focusing on their local communities’ needs or going global to help the Haiti earthquake relief effort and other current causes. –KA

The Washington Post:

There were traditional prayers and shared memories of King and his message, but this year more than ever people plunged in to help those most in need.

In Southeast Washington, volunteers sorted and folded tons of donated clothing that will be shipped to Haiti. In Arlington, people brought food to feed the hungry. In Bethesda, lunch bags were prepared to deliver to the homeless. In Sterling and Centreville, people donated blood. In Fairfax, families volunteered to tackle four community service projects.

And so it went across the nation — feeding, giving, building, repairing and reaching out with a spirit often absent from daily life. In Philadelphia, where the notion of devoting the holiday to public service first took root, an estimated 70,000 people set forth to carry out more than 900 projects.

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