LUBBOCK, Texas — Thousands of people across the United States celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by giving back to their communities, including hundreds of people in Lubbock who spent the day building houses with Habitat for Humanity.

“We absolutely believe that Habitat for Humanity is pursuing the dream that Dr. King had,” said Christy Reeves, the executive director of Lubbock’s Habitat for Humanity. “It’s a time of love, peace, hope and joy.”

While many people have the holiday off, volunteers still went to work, including more than 100 Texas Tech football players and head coach Joey McGuire.

“This is a huge day, one of the greatest leaders of all time, Martin Luther King. We wanted to make sure that we were out here affecting the community,” McGuire said. 

Volunteers from Lubbock Christian University, University Medical Center and local churches came to assist.

“We came out to, first and foremost, honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., represent Texas Tech athletics, and help the Lubbock community by helping to build some of these great houses,” said Derrick Mitchell, the director of The J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy.

Organizers said building houses on MLK Day is especially meaningful.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. was actually a big part of Habitat when Habitat started in the South — very supportive of the organization, so it’s an honor to be doing this today,” Reeves said.

“Dr. Martin Luther King was a great servant leader, so any opportunity we can give back and provide some of that service to [the] Lubbock community [is] a great opportunity,” Mitchell added.

If you’re interested in answering Dr. King’s call to action by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, reach out to the organization by visiting its website or calling 806-763-4663.

Reeves said the organization hopes to finish three houses by May and will be outside building every Saturday until then.