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Members of Hands On Asheville-Buncombe volunteer at Erwin Middle School

Members of a local group rolled up their sleeves and gave back to the community on Martin Luther King Day.

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County’s volunteer center, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, did some winter cleaning at Erwin Middle School. Volunteers spent three hours sanitizing the school.

The group said stopping the spread of germs during cold and flu season will cut back on the number of students who are absent and make sure students have a healthy chance to succeed.

"I always look to see who needs help in the community. We decided this would be a great opportunity," Samantha Zuniga of Asheville, said.

Hands On said attendance can have a huge impact on students. They said for those students who miss 18 days or more, the likelihood of high school graduation can drop as low as 25-percent.

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