BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Where some saw a blighted lot, Walker Marsh saw a commercial flower garden. Fifty volunteers swarmed the city-owned space for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

“Dr. Martin Luther King used to say ‘I look forward to the day when we’re walking hand-in-hand and we can look at each other and not judge by the color of our skin, but our character,'” Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

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With a send-off by the now-famous Cardinal Shehan School Choir, 500 volunteers split up and headed to five nearby projects.

Service and building character is an important part of the spiritual mission of a Park Heights synagogue that brought a work crew to the lot Monday.

“One of the main driving forces is to get our kids involved,” says Amit Golding of Chevrei Tzedek Congregation in Baltimore.

Kids like his son, who is only 11-year-old and has volunteered to work on dozens of jobs like this one.

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“The only thing that really stops me is birthday parties,” Amit’s son, Nathan Golding, said.

Marsh says he feels like he’s the one who has been given a present as he wouldn’t have been able to get all of the work done by himself.

“They told me like 20 people would be over here, this is a lot more than 20 people,” Marsh said. “I’m thankful This is really a blessing, you know. And to just have that connection of communities come together and make the city work better, to me, that’s everything.”

Among others, Howard and Montgomery counties also hosted day of service events Monday.

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