Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- New York ranks last in the United States when it comes to volunteering
. Federal statistics show just 20 percent of New Yorkers actively volunteer.
Central New Yorkers are working to reverse that trend, honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., with a day of service.
For Selina Lazarus, giving back on Martin Luther King Day is a family affair.
“Instead of having a day off, we have a day on of community service. I bring my daughter down here every year …We are blessed for what we have and I want them to be appreciative and give back to others,” said Lazarus.
It’s a lesson Lazarus’ daughter five-year-old Marielle already understands.
“It was fun folding clothes and having to send them to other kids,” Marielle said.
Dozens of volunteers were busy packing boxes throughout the day. Last year, the clothing and food drive raised enough donations for more than 300 families. This year, they hope to top that.
“These young folks need to understand how fortunate they are. There are people who don’t have decent shelter or decent clothing, so this is a way for the kids to see what a donation actually does,” explained Syracuse Common Councilor Helen Hudson who also works with the United Way.
Running like a smooth assembly line, the clothes were sorted and boxed before being delivered to shelters around Central New York. And, what could have been a day off for many instead became a day of service, honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.CLICK HERE
to learn more about volunteering in your community.