Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for service is answered in many forms each year when we honor the civil rights icon.

 

A glance inside the Reggie Lewis Center yesterday told the story, as hundreds gathered to make everything from cat beds for the Animal Rescue League to fleece scarves for the homeless in a massive volunteer effort organized by the city and Boston Cares.

 

“People have crafted thousands of items that will benefit thousands of Bostonians,” said Patrice Keegan, executive director of Boston Cares. “It’s a small army of volunteers.”

 

Indeed, about 700 volunteers showed up, also creating dental kits for the homeless and Valentine’s Day cards for troops overseas, among other things.

 

The volunteers varied in age, ethnicity and, as it turns out, from where they came.

“It’s a good cause and we wanted the kids to know how it helps out other people,” said Wayne Sevigny, 41, who teamed with other parents to bring 10 children down from Rumsford, Maine, for a lesson not given in every classroom.

Education was a key portion of the afternoon, with dozens of children on hand. So, too, was a sense that King would be proud.

“It’s a great feeling,” said 25-year-old Beacon Hill resident Maria Zamboni, who was busy making place mats for the elderly. “I just hope it makes someone smile.”