They were the sounds of community: the buzz of power drills, hammers smacking nails, mallets smacking wood, the hum of sewing machines and the din of conversation and laughter.
Hundreds of volunteers packed a gym at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury Monday to help build beds, quilts and dreamcatchers for children who are transitioning from homelessness into new homes.
The event, known as Boston Cares Service Day, is intended to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We thought it was really important to come out here and support the community,” said Bianca Millien of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., who was making dreamcatchers.
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Asked what she thought was Dr. King’s lasting legacy, Millien, a 23-year-old from Atlanta who is a senior studying international business at Northeastern, said “I think it’s special to captivate a large audience. Anyone can talk but it’s really hard to talk and get people to listen to you and follow. He had such a strong presence and a strong message.”
She added, “It’s all about the power of people and understanding that everyone is a person. We’re all human. We’re all made of the same things.”
Hannah Webb, a 25-year-old volunteer from Boston, was overseeing 17 women who had brought their own sewing machines to patch together quilts for needy children.
“We’re going to try to get as many done as possible,” said Webb.
Kory McTernan, a 25-year-old from Easton, was part of an assembly line of workers who were building twin beds using wood that a local carpenter’s union cut for the cause.
“It doesn’t hurt to get up a little earlier to help people out,” he said. “Just to have that opportunity, it would be foolish not take it.”
Vinton South, a 26-year-old who manages a Target in Abington, was busying himself screwing and gluing different components to bed headrests.
“Obviously, it’s a day that a lot of people get off from work but that doesn’t mean it’s a day that people sit around and do nothing. It’s great to get up and come together and do something for the community.”
Kirsten Alexander, the director of development and marketing for Boston Cares, said they had hoped to build more than 500 twin beds this year.