WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — It's a day on, not a day off.
That’s what many say Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day is, a time to volunteer and serve your community.
"It's really just a great opportunity for individuals and families and sometimes corporate groups to give back to the community,” said Laurie Garza with United Way of Williamson County.
From raking to pruning to painting, about 150 people volunteered their time on Monday as part of the United Way of Williamson County MLK Day of Service.
"We're trying to help when they come up, see a beautiful place,” said Shaun'te Branch.
Branch took her daughters, Simone and Jada, to do some yard work at the Williamson Museum in Round Rock.
"I said, 'Let's go out there and get our hands dirty,'” said Branch.
She said it’s a philosophy she works to teach them not just on one day, but year round.
"I try to make sure that they know it's important to give back,” said Branch. “Especially on days when they don't have school, they don't need to sleep in, you can go out and help do something in the community."
Mickie Ross, the executive director of the museum, said those extra hands really are helpful.
"We have great volunteers all year long, but they can't do what 20 people can do out here today,” said Ross.
She said they initially had about 10 people signed up to volunteer at the location, but last week got an email saying that 10 more people would step in if they had room.
"It's amazing to have people come and help us with the yard, that's not something that we have, the staff or the funds to take care of the way it should all the time,” said Ross.
People like State Representative James Talarico and his team.
"This day is all about serving others. Dr. King said the most persistent urgent question in life is, 'What are you doing for others,'” said Talarico.
He said his staff tries to ask themselves that question each day.
"I grew up here in Round Rock, and they gave me every opportunity that I have, so this kind of stuff is the least we can do to give back and try to honor the legacy of Dr. King," said Talarico.
"It's great to meet the people that I'm doing the best that I can to serve,” said Rachel Bahalla, Rep. Talarico’s district director.
"Dr. King was really about serving, serving others, serving the community, making the world a better place through service and volunteerism, and so it's our way of pulling people together to make Williamson County a great place to live and work,” said Garza.
She said they’ve offered the volunteer day for the past 15 years in Williamson County.
"It's a good way as a family to kind of come together and teach the importance of volunteering and serving the community,” said Garza.
According to Garza, people volunteered at more than a dozen locations, including the Adult Day Health Care Center at AGE of Central Texas in Round Rock.
"It certainly is something very special, you know, really getting to meet people you don't get a chance to otherwise, and help brighten someone's day,” said volunteer Dave Maggio. “It's really a wonderful experience, it really makes you feel good and then know that you can help out and be part of someone else’s day."
United Way of Williamson County offers another day of service in the fall. You can learn more about that day, and the MLK Day of Service, by clicking here.