BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Time off from work on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day meant time to volunteer for some in Baton Rouge. There were several opportunities around the city to give back. Some chose to feed the hungry, others knocked door-to-door to make sure homes were protected in case of an emergency.
"We did pre-canvass this area and knew the need was great here," said Nancy Malone, Public Affairs Director with the local Red Cross.
On Monday, 75 volunteers from the organization along with students from Southern University and members of Greater King David Baptist Church went through the avenues in Scotlandville to install smoke alarms in homes that did not have any. The Red Cross said they visited 195 homes and installed more than 155 detectors.
"We're running out!" said Gilbert Arvie, one of the volunteers.
Malone said they do these outreaches usually on Saturday's every month, but specifically chose Monday because most people did not have to work.
At Greater St. Luke Baptist Church, the police chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department along with other officers and students with the Young Leaders' Academy handed out cold weather items to the homeless. Chief Carl Dabadie also made a large pot of chicken noodle soup to be dished out to those who might be hungry.
Chief Dabadie said it is part of their Warm Hands, Warm Hearts program.
"This is our service to the community," the chief said.
Two young volunteers, ages eight and 10, handed out socks and blankets to anyone in need.
"We have to train the young ones," said Ken McFarland, with YLA. "The older ones are set in their ways of thinking, whereas these are still developing. You pick your community up, don't wait for others to come in and help."
McFarland said that's not just on MLK Day, but should be for everyday.
Others say the day calls real attention to one specific quote from Dr. King: