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A ‘day on,’ not a ‘day off’ on Martin Luther King Day

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By Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Martin Luther King Jr. said he would rather be remembered in a eulogy for trying to give his life serving others, rather than for the awards he received or schools he attended.

“I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity,” King said.

Dozens of volunteers spread out across Santa Cruz County on Monday in that same vein, spending the holiday in acts of service to the community. Comfortable footwear was one of the themes as more than 60 people gathered beforehand at the Santa Cruz Bible Church to fuel up on snacks and water, hear from Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane, and listen to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. himself in an audio recording.

As they prepared to set off to cleanup Sunny Cove Beach, three co-workers from the UC Santa Cruz’s Institute for Humanities Research banded together to get out and volunteer with their kids on Monday. The women said they had talked about volunteering together for a while, and finally made it happen this year.

“I just want her to learn about taking care of the environment and giving back to the community,” said Evin Guy, of her 5-year-old daughter Lulu Guy.

“I think it’s nice for them to feel them start to feel engaged with the community,” said Irena Polic of her 7-year-old twins Alexa and Evan Richter. “They’re in second grade, so they know who Martin Luther King is. I feel like it’s just role-modeling good behavior.”

Alexa gave a thumbs up sign when asked about her first volunteer outing.

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