Hundreds volunteer time and energy for MLK Day of Service

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sound of power tools filled the air Monday morning at Jacksonville's Lake Forest Elementary as volunteers teamed up to build a new playground for the students.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, the civil rights pioneer's namesake, also received a facelift. That included a fresh coat of paint in the cafeteria, in addition to some new landscaping out front.

Those efforts were part of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an annual event that brings together hundreds of people from across the city to spruce up schools and neighborhoods.

GALLERY: Volunteers take part in Martin Luther King Day of Service

"It makes me feel proud," said Walter Williams, who pitched in at Lake Forest. "Not only seeing the playground come to life, but seeing the community come out and everybody putting their helping hand in together."

Williams wasn’t alone. He had help from people of all ages, and from all walks of life, who turned out to lend their help with a variety of community projects.

"When they come to school and see this new playground we built, they're going to be really surprised," said Isaac Fagundes, a 12-year-old who pitched in at Lake Forest.

Members of the News4Jax team got in on the action, too. The Morning Show crew grabbed some brushes and buckets to help paint a mural downtown.

Not to be outdone, the night shift crew helped stuff backpacks with books and school supplies, then gave them away to children in need in Northwest Jacksonville.

RELATED: Grieving grandfather marches for justice in MLK parade

Jasmine Pleasant, who stepped up to volunteer her time and energy Monday, said she showed up because giving back is extremely important to her. 

"Any opportunity to give back to others, help others or love others is a really good thing to do," she said.