Courtesy: Peace Corps
Burlington, NC -- A group of friends and community members in Burlington are turning grief into something positive and it's benefiting others around the world.
More than 100 people came together Saturday to celebrate Emily's Day of Service.
Emily Balog was a 26-year-old killed in Paraguay while serving in the Peace Corps back in November.
She was supposed to be returning home this month, and next week would have been her 27th birthday.
"This fabulous day transforms tragedy into hope," Susan Balog, Emily's mother said as emotions laced her voice. "And, it gives us the momentum to move forward."
Before volunteering for the Peace Corps, Emily spent much of her life volunteering with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels.
"Emily was a bright spot in the lives of the people who knew her, and this is a way that we are healing," Julie Wilder, a childhood friend explained. "Her family and friends are remembering Emily by trying to touch the community that she loved so much and served throughout her life."
The volunteers spent Saturday helping some of those local charities Emily volunteered with while growing up in Burlington.
Donald Clark with the Peace Corps said members around the world also did charity work to honor Emily's memory.
"She was just a volunteer who really embodied the spirit of the Peace Corps," Clark said. "And the fact that this has motivated so many people today to come out, in support of the community here in Burlington, NC is just absolutely fantastic."
Emily's friends and family say they hope this day of service inspires you to give back to your community.
You can always call 211, any time of the day, if you need help finding a charity you can give your time.