At The Coca-Cola Company, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is embraced as a “day on,” not a day off. Employees across the United States are encouraged to spend the day reflecting on and embodying the message of Dr. King.

That’s why 150 Coca-Cola volunteers spent their “day on” volunteering in four Metro Atlanta locations: Helping Mamas, Blue Heron Preserve, Panola Way Elementary School and Sandy Springs Recycling Center

Here are a few of their stories:

Demetria Lane-Phillips spent the day volunteering with her daughter at Helping Mamas. For her, the service experience stuck a personal chord, “Being a divorced, single mother of two, I can remember the support I received from my ‘village,’ and now that I’m blessed to be able to give back, I wanted to be a support to another mother. Some mothers are often faced with having to decide if they will purchase diapers or food.  No mother should have to make that choice.”

Aaliyah Shafiq also volunteered at Helping Mamas. Her main takeaway from the day was putting our works into action, “To keep the legacy of Dr. King alive, we have to identify a need, find a way to address it, and then actually take positive steps to do so. Dr. King had a phenomenal gift when it came to words, but he balanced his talk with actions, which is exactly what I intend to do.”

Jesse Breidinger has a passion for our environment, so she chose to honor Dr. King through service at the Sandy Springs Recycling Center. Not only did she spend her “Day On” giving back to the community, Breidinger leveraged the day as an opportunity to improve her knowledge about recycling. “One of the things I learned was the ability for residents to simply drop off their “hard to recycle” items at the recycling center. It was an incredible feeling to be part of the big picture towards building a better planet!”

MLK

Benjamin Nylin shares Breidinger’s love for the outdoors. He joined the volunteer group at the Blue Heron Preserve, helping with environmental restoration. He said, “As I reflected on the sacrifices that Martin Luther King Jr. made throughout his life, I began to realize that I don’t do enough to give back to my community. I never previously volunteered on MLK Day, so this was a new experience for me.  Looking back on the day, I’m glad that I gave my time to a good cause and look forward to more of the same in the future.”