"Everybody is somebody, because everybody can serve, that's what Dr. King would say," United Way of the Greater Triangle CEO Craig Chancellor said. "So we've got over 1,000 people serving today."
All over the Triangle, United Way lead a day-long effort to get people out and involved.
About 500 volunteers were in Chapel Hill Monday morning and made almost 150 blankets for people in Haiti and more than 2,000 gift baskets for US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Disabled veteran Arkie McCleary was among those helping out.
"I know what it is to receive those bags and have those gifts in it, coming from the heart and to have those notes that the little kids put in it, really meant a lot," he said.
In Dr. King's speech, he talks about the world being a different place one day, when kids would grow up and usher in a new equality.
For the United Way, it's more the same - children, keeping good will and good works alive.
"This is like a good way to get people inspired to spend their time off doing something worthwhile," East Chapel Hill High School student Kaori Sueyoshi said.
And many students at Durham Academy, along with parents and faculty packed 20,000 meals as part of their Martin Luther King Day of Service.
Stop Hunger Now will distribute the meals in Haiti and around the world.