Day of service, virtual events across North Texas honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was a day of service across North Texas as Americans remembered and honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some communities decided to host a scaled down and socially distant version of their in-person event while others decided not to take any chances and pivoted to online programs instead.

TCU students answered a call to action on Monday, with dozens gathered at New Mount Rose Baptist Church in Fort Worth to serve the surrounding community.

"Service regardless of the day is always very important and especially today of all days," said student Leslie Parra.

Rev. Kyev Tatum, New Mount Rose Baptist Church, said the day was a chance for people to get out and help people after nearly a year of isolation for some members of the community.

Volunteers spent the day cleaning yards of some senior citizens and also handed out free clothing and groceries to folks in need.

The pandemic changed how some surrounding communities are observing MLK Day.

Collin County held their MLK program entitled The 1963 Birmingham Campaign virtually this year.

Rev. Jesse Douglas, Sr. marched with King and talked about some of the happier times.

"I remember one time with Dr. King kissed my wife on the cheek," Douglas said.

He also recalled some of the turbulent times consumed by racial injustice.

"There was a lot of hatred -- the KKK, the White Citizens Council," he said. "After Dr. King's assassination I delivered the first memorial."

The online program also honored two members of the community who embody King's spirit of service.

"It is an honor as well as a privilege to do something worthy to be acknowledged," said Diana Dues, Executive Director of the Plano Childcare Learning Academy.

"And may God bless you and may God bless America," said community leader Dr. E.T. Boon, longtime advocate of education.

In Arlington, the annual MLK, Jr. Day of service festival went virtual.

The online event showcased local dancers and works of art, as well as an oration from this year's Arlington ISD high school essay winner, Riana Pinto from James Martin High School.

"Solutions can be implemented to break down the barricades of division, uniting this country once again while creating a better future visible on the horizon," Pinto said.

The event also highlighted service organizations that have been making an impact in the community.