MLK Day: Events celebrate life of Dr. King

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Monday, January 15 marks the 89th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth.

Officials with the National Civil Rights Museum had a busy day of remembrance in Memphis, despite the cold.

A number of events took place to honor Dr. King on the holiday commemorating him.

Volunteers with Catholic Charities of West Tennessee spread the spirit of service to celebrate the holiday.

By just word of mouth, the message spread quickly that a warm meal was available Monday morning free of charge.

"This is a wonderful day for us to be able to bring notoriety to what Dr. King lived and how he walked this earth," said Dick Hackett Executive Director of Catholic Charities of West TN.

The organization opened their food pantry and clothes closet despite snow and ice blocking part of their parking lot.

Along with hot burgers, hand warmers were passed out to anyone in need.

"We learn more and feel more from them than they do from us," said Hackett.

Volunteers with FedEx also served by partnering with Rise Against Hunger to prepare thousands of meals to send across the world.

Representatives with FedEx said about 150 volunteers prepared meals with rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables, and a pack of vitamins. By the end of the morning, about 40,000 meals were packed and ready to be shipped off to more than 40 countries around the globe.

"We're sending some to emergency relief but also some to community programs that are doing something much bigger to our world," said Eric Taft with Rise Against Hunger.

Neil Gibson with FedEx said in addition to giving strangers across the world one less meal to worry about, he hoped the volunteering event could be seen as motivation for others striving towards Dr. King's legacy

"Although you may be feeling cold, but your heart is going to be really warm and you're going to warm your soul cause we're helping others," said Gibson.

Gibson said this project was part of a nationwide effort. Together more than 750 FedEx volunteers from Washington D.C. to San Francisco will pack about 180,000 meals.

Other events will be taking place across the country. Click here to see more.

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