President Barack Obama is no stranger to service – in fact, it’s how he started his career. As a community organizer, Obama worked with families on Chicago’s south side to fight neighborhood blight and bolster housing rights. His experiences as an organizer inspired him to become a lawyer, fighting inequality at an institutional level by working to expand the electorate. The same issues that he saw in Chicago led him to run for office, thus beginning his road to the presidency, which he will assume again this Sunday at the inauguration.
With the inaugural festivities in full swing this weekend, we wanted to highlight the President’s commitment to national and community service. Repair the World is proud to be a part of the bi-partisan coalition the President has built around making service a central part of American life. Below is just a sampling of how President Obama has made service a focus of his first term:
- National Day of Service to Honor Dr. King: President Obama founded this annual day of national service four years ago (this year it’s on January 19) to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Find an opportunity to serve with the President (or at least on the same day as him!).
- United We Serve: The President and First Lady launched United We Serve in 2009 as a “nationwide initiative to create a sustained, collaborative, and focused effort to meet community needs and make service a way of life for all Americans.” Get involved and find ways to connect with this national project.
- Joining Forces: President Obama has made service a family affair. First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden launched this White House initiative to provide assistance to militaryspouses and to educate the public on issues impacting veterans and military families. Join them by finding a project near you.
- 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance: In 2009, President Obama signed into law an act that federal authorized September 11th as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance. Thousands of Americans give back on September 11th each year to honor the memories of those lost by giving back to their communities.
- Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge: In 2010, President Obama launched “an initiative inviting institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith and community service programming on campus.” Find out how you can participate.
We’re excited to see what the White House cooks up during President Obama’s second term (perhaps more of Let’s Move?). Check out their official service page for more information. Know of another President-sponsored or supported service/volunteering opportunity? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @repairtheworld.