President volunteers, asks Americans to join him - New York News

President volunteers, asks Americans to join him

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON, DC -

Barack and Michelle Obama spent part of the day with other volunteers sprucing up Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The President and the nation's First Lady helped stain a bookshelf at the public school.

The Obama Administration is also trying to expand the concept of volunteerism. Toward that end, the president's Inaugural Committee erected a huge tent on The Mall in Washington and, on Saturday, filled it with nearly a hundred organizations which are seeking more volunteers.

Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton visited a booth to help youngsters, there, write letters to sick children.

Actress Eva Longoria appealed to a crowd to help improve the nation by volunteering. "Make a difference in one child's life," pleaded Longoria. "Mentor a student. Donate a book to a library. Donate supplies to a neighborhood school. Help paint a classroom or cleanup a playground."

Thousands of people in town for the Inauguration (and many locals) packed the tent.

Among the groups seeking more volunteers: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area. The group's program director, Michael Brown, says pairing youngsters with older mentors helps the kids. "The grades are better," explained Brown. "They have higher self-esteem. They have better relationships with their peers, with their teachers."

At the Sunshine Mail Foundation, seven year old Addison Rose was helping Chelsea Clinton compose letters. "I am making a card for kids who are ill. And I'm trying to make them feel better," said the second-grader.

Computer terminals around the room allowed visitors to express their interest in different kinds of voluntary activities. Estrellita Jones found the whole scene inspirational. "It kind of gets you motivated to say you're part of something bigger that's going to help out communities," said Jones. "And so that's kind of an inspiration for me."

The President is trying to make service on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend an American tradition. Joel Lucas, of Herndon, Va., thinks that's perfectly appropriate.

"Martin Luther King's legacy is one of volunteerism and service," said Lucas. "I think this gives America (and the DC Metro area) an opportunity to, you know, live his legacy."

Joel Lucas was career military, and, at the age of 61, is still employed full time in the civilian workforce. Nonetheless, on Saturday he signed up to volunteer with two different groups.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Special Olympics: Athlete Jessica Spitz

    Special Olympics: Athlete Jessica Spitz

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:35 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:35:09 GMT
    Jessica Spitz, 18, is training for one of the biggest days of her life. The Commack, Long Island, High School senior will be competing in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in the 100-yard dash and the shot put. From the moment Jessica joined Special Olympics last year, she was hooked.
    Jessica Spitz, 18, is training for one of the biggest days of her life. The Commack, Long Island, High School senior will be competing in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in the 100-yard dash and the shot put. From the moment Jessica joined Special Olympics last year, she was hooked.
  • Faithful flock to Bronx church for its grotto water

    Faithful flock to Bronx church for its grotto water

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:43:31 GMT
    While a thousand people streamed into a courtyard at St. Lucy Parish in the Bronx to watch a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ, next door a steady trickle of believers quietly collected water from that church's grotto, taking the liquid home to heal, cure, and bless.
    While a thousand people streamed into a courtyard at St. Lucy Parish in the Bronx to watch a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ, next door a steady trickle of believers quietly collected water from that church's grotto, taking the liquid home to heal, cure, and bless.
  • Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:13:20 GMT
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices