Thousands of volunteers kick off Empowerment Week with "Day of S - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Thousands of volunteers kick off Empowerment Week with "Day of Service"

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Empowerment Week officially kicked off today in Birmingham with a citywide "Day of Service."

More than 5,000 people volunteered throughout the community.

They spent the day planting trees, painting fire stations and reading in schools, just to name a few.

There was a group of volunteers this morning at Greenwood Park.

They planted more than 20 trees at the park.

The volunteers were city employees and others from the Coca Cola plant.

Volunteer Walter Body spends a lot of his time giving back to the community.

He says it's his way of saying "thank you" to all who came before him and risked their lives during the Civil Rights Movement.

"Personally for me, it means those people that have come before me that paid some dear prices with their lives, with their hearts, tears...they did a lot of things for me. So ...to give back to my community only helps me and makes me feel good."

Later today, the volunteers will meet at Kelly Ingram Park for an evening of praise and gospel music.

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