LUBBOCK, Texas — Many people spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day just being off work or out of school.

However, students and athletes from Texas Tech University spend Monday doing service for the community by working on Habitat for Humanity houses here in Lubbock.

Head Football Coach Joey McGuire and the entire Red Raider football team showed up to assist with the building efforts. He said giving back is what the brand is all about.

“Whenever you’re talking about Martin Luther King and serving and making something more about the whole community and just people than yourselves, that’s what it’s all about,” McGuire said. “We have a platform as athletes, as coaches, and we’ve got to use that platform in a positive way.”

Jesiah Pierre, a Texas Tech junior linebacker, said coming together with his team to leave a positive impact is what means the most to him.

“I think it’s wonderful because I think it’s like, with the type of influence you have, it’s just like when you can see others, you can help others and the type of impacts it makes on their life,” Pierre said. 

Ava Stafford, a graduate student at Texas Tech, said she took the day to give back to the community and understand what volunteering means to her. 

“I feel like we get wrapped up in our own lives with work and with school or whatever else we have going on, kids or all of our issues and our problems,” Stafford said. “I think we forget that  we have this great life here and we wouldn’t have what we have today without volunteers and without days like this.”

Lubbock City Councilwoman Shelia Patterson-Harris is a longtime Habitat for Humanity. She’s been volunteering for 27 years and has seen first hand how much these houses help those who need them.

“People can come to this place and make the connection with Habitat and begin to own and build on the ground that becomes their own,” Patterson-Harris said. “That’s important because that allows them to impact our investment in themselves, invest in their children, and as a result, invest in the community that they live in.”

Patterson-Harris said volunteering with Habitat for Humanity connects volunteers and those they help, in more ways than one.

“Dr. Martin Luther King was a great example of why we should do or why people should do what they do because it somehow impacts the next person going along,” Patterson-Harris said.

Houses worked on Monday will be done before the end of spring.