Monday, January 12, 2009

Looking forward to a day ON, not a day OFF

Are you just now finding yourself recovering from the post-election frenzy, or starting to already tune out to the pre-inauguration hype, or maybe you think the most interesting development seen on CNN politics recently has been Dr. Sanjay Gupta's nomination to U.S. Surgeon General?

Yah me too. So, while you could spend next Monday's holiday catching up on CSPAN. But what better way to become re-engaged in the state of our nation, by directly volunteering to improve the state of our state. (Which, by the way Governor Patrick will be delivering his speech Wednesday January 15th--remember to tune in!)

President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Biden have launched a National Day of Service to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and enable Americans to make an ongoing commitment to volunteer service and civic engagement on the eve of this new administration.

The National Day of Service is a mass-organizing effort to engage volunteers to help organizations in communities across the nation. In Boston and Massachusetts, field directors hope to have hundreds of service projects ready to go over the course of this coming three day weekend--January 17-19. Many local groups have created new events to assist organizations with one-time opportunities and others have requested help with specific, ongoing projects.

To find out how to get involved, find an opportunity in your neighborhood, and sign up to volunteer--the Presidential Inaugural Committee has launched a website where all of these events can easily be searched by zip code. Visit to see more details.

Honestly, what else do you have to do next Monday, January 19th? You weren't really planning on taking the day off to do laundry, catch up on sleep, continue to work, or watch the new episodes of 24 all day, were you? Why not help organize goods at a Longwood food bank, clean up the North End streets and waterfront, learn more about online youth mentoring Downtown, improve and beautify a Charlestown community center, help repair a neighborhood house in Cambridge, assemble care packages in Somerville, improve a family center in Dorchester, help care for shelter animals in JP, and countless (seriously) other projects around town.

There are so many families out there for which Monday will not be a holiday off, but I know for me, I'll be making the most of mine by helping out in some small way.

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