Thursday, January 15, 2009
Stepping away from the family dinner topic, for just today...
Heeding President-Elect Obama's call for a National Day of Service, I just signed up to help with a food drive on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, this Monday January 19, 2009. Hurry now and sign-up for something in your community at www.usaservice.org.
Honestly, I had to click through on 3 food drives before I could find one to sign up for. (Had to be a food drive, since that's my thing.) The others had been "maxed-out" with too many people vying to sign up for limited slots. Of course, I'm in Brooklyn, but there were so many events, so many possible good deeds that are out there. 8,500 events were registered on the site as of Jan 14th. Click here to see the amazing Google Map.
It's making me teary-eyed, really, and so hopeful that Obama as our new president will represent a change. He has been so inspiring to so many people already. He truly seems committed to helping communities and helping people make a difference in their own lives and their own neighborhoods. Those 8,500 volunteer opportunities? Those are there everyday, if we just knew about them.
As an Obama volunteer in the campaign, I was polled about my opinions and suggestions immediately afterward, as were many people. (Just being contacted for my opinion seemed quite amazing, really.) I wrote that I hoped that he would use his campaign machinery to offer community-based volunteer opportunities and to harness all that energy and positive motion toward making a real difference in communities. The transition team is doing just that with usaservice.org, and I'm again stunned. Obama and his team have the two-punch: he inspires, then implements. There's a system in place to make it easy for people to sign up. That's the genius. It's marketing true, but really it's marketing and implementation. Many people want to "help" in some vague way, but if you're not sure how to do it, if you don't know who to call, it may never happen. Let's hope that the National Day of Service is a boost up to community involvement that lasts. In this economy, in these times, we cannot wait for government to right itself and solve all the problems that have been created over the past years. We have to embrace our communities and act locally to make a difference. Yes, we can!