"Life's persistent and most urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is what change looks like...
Barack and Michelle Obama have a request for us: Spend this coming Monday--Martin Luther King Day--volunteering to serve the urgent needs in our communities.
In this economic crisis, food banks are struggling to keep up. Homeowners need help weatherizing to keep out the cold. Schools are crumbling.
Some folks have been hit harder by the recession than others, but we're all in it together. We've all got to roll up our sleeves and help each other out. And volunteering is always a great experience—in just a few hours, you can help make a huge difference in the lives of others.
On Tuesday, Barack will officially start the massive job of restoring our country. As president, he plans to expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps and to create new service organizations1, including:
* a Classroom Corps to help underserved schools;
* a Health Corps to serve in the nation's clinics and hospitals;
* a Clean Energy Corps to achieve the goal of energy independence; and
* a Veterans Corps to support the Americans who serve in harm's way.
But on Monday, Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia will still be ordinary citizens, volunteering to help their new neighbors in Washington, D.C. Can you join them by volunteering near Maricopa? Click here to sign up on Obama's website:
Many of us have the day off for Dr. King's birthday, so it's a perfect time to volunteer. And with millions of Americans energized about Obama's inauguration, it will be a great day to spend with neighbors!
Hope you can make it. And thanks for all you do.
–Noah, Karin, Matt, Ilyse and the rest of the team
P.S. If you're in D.C. on Monday, join others from around the country to assemble care packages for troops in Iraq at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (inside a heated tent):
"America Serves," Change.gov
Make it a Day On... Not a Day Off!
During the 1950s and ’60s, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals.
Initiated by Congress in 1994, King Day of Service builds on that that legacy by transforming the federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community service grounded in his teachings of nonviolence and social justice. The aim is to make the holiday a day ON, where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to improve lives, bridge social barriers, and move our nation closer to the “Beloved Community” that Dr. King envisioned. With thousands of projects planned across the country, the 2009 King Day of Service on January 19 promises to be the biggest and best ever!
Why Serve? Love.
During his lifetime, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked tirelessly toward a dream of equality. He believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place to live, creating the Beloved Community.
The King Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility. On this day, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through service projects that:
* Strengthen Communities
Dr. King recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Through his words and example, Dr. King challenged individuals to take action and lift up their neighbors and communities through service.
* Empower Individuals
Dr. King believed each individual possessed the power to lift himself or herself up no matter what his or her circumstances – rich or poor, black or white, man or woman. Whether teaching literacy skills, helping an older adult surf the Web, or helping an individual build the skills they need to acquire a job, acts of service can help others improve their own lives while doing so much for those who serve, as well.
* Bridge Barriers
In his fight for civil rights, Dr. King inspired Americans to think beyond themselves, look past differences, and work toward equality. Serving side by side, community service bridges barriers between people and teaches us that in the end, we are more alike than we are different.
These ideas of unity, purpose, and the great things that can happen when we work together toward a common goal – are just some of the many reasons we honor Dr. King through service on this special holiday.