In the spirit of a King: MLK Holiday offers chance to give back

Willard Lariscy will spend most of his workday Monday getting his hands dirty volunteering at the Lifecycle Building Center, a nonprofit that sells salvaged building materials at a discount.

“There’s a lot of sweat equity going out in the community,” said Lariscy, managing director of the Atlanta office of Perkins + Will, the international global architecture and design firm. “Martin Luther King (Jr.) lived in Atlanta and that provides an inspiring framework. It’s a great day to rally around someone whose life was about service.”

The national observance of King’s birth has become an important day for nonprofits. In the spirit of King, thousands of Atlantans will hit the streets to plant gardens, make home repairs, read to children, visit seniors and feed the hungry.

King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, strongly believed in community service and the greater good.

Nonprofit staffers say they expect to see even more people pitch in this year as people become motivated by events in the news such as the refugee crisis, incidents of excessive force by police and waiting lists at some organization that provide food for seniors.

The challenge, though, is how to keep that momentum going after the federal holiday.

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