President Obama Wants YOU!…… To Serve

Last week, we shared with you our contributions to “A Day On, Not A Day Off” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Historically, MLK Day has been promoted as a day of service, a call for Americans just like you to get out into the community and make a difference.

Today, we join President Obama in challenging you to make a commitment to service – not just one day but an ongoing effort to better your community, your peers and as a result, yourself.

Looking for ways to help?

We’d like to take a moment to discuss our program, AmeriCorps,and then we’ll share with you a few other excellent volunteer opportunities. Remember, volunteers come from all walks of life, and every effort has an impact.

Upon graduation, we both took an opportunity with AmeriCorps to answer this call to service.
AmeriCorps is a volunteer program, similar to the Peace Corps, where members devote a year of their lives to serving the needs of a community here in the United States.

Our specific program works in conjunction with the American Red Cross Disaster Services.
At the start of the program, we were trained in Disaster Assessment, Client Casework, Defensive Driving, Psychological First Aide, Disaster Response Workshop, Introduction to Disaster Services to name a few.

Our primary responsiblities include responding to residential fires and other weather related incidents within the city of Chicago and seven surrounding counties.
When we are not responding to fires, we spend quite a bit of time on the phone following up with those who we have assisted, offering various resources to organizations that assist in long-term recovery.

During our time in AmeriCorps, we also complete a special project of our choice. Sam, for example, is very excited to be working with International Services helping to create and administer presentations about the American Red Cross’s role in International Humanitarian Law at local universities and colleges.

Not only are we out in our community directly assisting those in need, but we are also given many opportunities for personal and career development.

As promised, here are a few of the many organizations found on President Obama’s new website,

Volunteer Match
MLK 365
My Good Deed
Citizen’s Corps
Hands On Network

This site details the importance of community service and the need for all Americans to particpate. It also provides links to local opportunities.

Visitors to can find volunteer events within their communities by following the“Find an Event” application.

No matter what you are passionate about, you can find a volunteer opportunity that suits your interests.

Get out there America!
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

– Lily and Sam

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