BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Johns Hopkins Medicine held its first Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Friday to support neighboring communities.

More than 400 volunteering opportunities were available at various nonprofit organizations across Baltimore City, according to Hopkins.

“We are really seeing ourselves having an impact and making a difference,” said VP chief diversity officer James Page. “What Martin Luther King’s Day is supposed to be is a day on, not a day off. And what she wanted to do is to figure out how we can still celebrate, so the parade and things of that nature, but in addition to celebrating, how can we go back and give back?”

Hopkins staff, faculty and students had the chance to interact with local organizations to assist people in need.

Sixteen locations around the city were selected for the Hopkins community to serve. Volunteer activities included painting classrooms, office space and murals, preparing and serving meals, facilitating youth games and activities and revitalizing green spaces.

At Moveable Feast in East Baltimore, more than a dozen employees spent Friday morning prepping meals for those facing HIV/Aids or other life-threatening illnesses.

“Being in the community, it feels good. It really does. I’ve never done this before, so this is a first,” said Hopkins Medicine employee DeLoise Clark.

Employees shared photos on Twitter using #HopkinsBetterPlace.

Hopkins Medicine staff say they’re dedicated to making this an annual event, and hope even more employees get involved next year.

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