Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former president Bill Clinton, will serve as honorary chair of this Saturday’s National Day of Service which will take place on the eve of President Barack Obama’s second term inauguration, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced this week. PIC Co-chair Eva Longoria will also preside over the event that calls on Americans to volunteer at service events around the country.
The National Day of Service is the president’s call for Americans to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday weekend celebrating his birthday, and the federal holiday in his honor that is observed every year on the third Monday of January.
“There is no more fitting way to mark a presidential inauguration than a day of service. Coming together as a country to strengthen our communities has always been part of the American spirit,” said Chelsea Clinton in a statement released by the inauguration committee.
“I am deeply grateful that President Obama and his administration have put service at the center of the Inauguration weekend and I am proud to be part of a nation-wide service effort, honoring the service and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and building a brighter future for all of us,” the former first daughter said.
Besides Clinton and Longoria, the list of speakers and artists to participate in the National Day of Service includes actress Angela Bassett, singer Ben Folds and Iraq War veteran and Delaware Attorney General, Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden.
Also featured is American Heart Association spokesperson and television star Star Jones, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and the World Children’s Choir, said the PIC.
Each speaker will highlight one of seven themes of service: community resilience, economic development, education, environment, faith, health, and veterans and military families, according to the committee’s announcement. In 2009, President Obama and the First Lady started the tradition of holding a National Day of Service the weekend before the swearing-in.
Obama “has always believed that everyone has something they can contribute to their community, and that America works best when neighbors help neighbors,” the PIC said in a statement.
Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their families will participate in several events in the Washington area this Saturday. The inauguration ceremony will take place on Monday, Jan. 21, which is Martin Luther King Day.
Closer to home, large number of volunteers are expected to spend part of this upcoming weekend engaged in any number of community service type projects, such as cleaning local parks and beaches, painting schools, cleaning graffiti and landscaping local green areas.
There are a number of local groups still looking for volunteers; here are a few of the activities taking place:
Saturday, Jan. 19
8 a.m. to 12 p.m. – City of Montebello Community Beautification Day. Volunteers 13 years of age and older are needed to “Make Montebello Shine.” The volunteer projects will take place at Brant Rea Park, located at 600 N. Rea Dr., Montebello. Sign up in advance and submit your waiver. For more information call the Montebello Recreation Dept. at (323) 887-4540.
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.—City of Commerce 2nd Annual Community Martin Luther King Jr Volunteer Day of Service. Volunteers will clean tree wells, paint red curbs, remove graffiti and assist in bulky item disposal. Dumpsters will be located throughout the Bristow neighborhood area so residents can discard bulky items until noon. To volunteer, register at Bristow Park Library, at 1466 S. McDonnell Ave (323) 265-1787.
8 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Glassell Park 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service Community Pride Day Clean-up. Help improve Fletcher Dr, Eagle Rock Blvd, and San Fernando Road. Gather at the Glassell Park Community Center, 3750 N. Verdugo Road, for instructions. For more information, please contact the Neighborhood Organizer, Bradley at (323) 806-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, Jan. 21
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.— City Year LA Annual MLK Day of Service. Volunteer to give Belmont High School so much needed attention. Service projects include painting educational murals, inspirational quotes, and college logos. Registration opens at 8:30am; lunch will be provided. Belmont is located at 1575 West Second Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. RSVP by contacting Morgan Plank at CYLAvolunteer@gmail.com or 213-293-9965.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – L.A. Works MLK Day of Service at Washington Irving Middle School. Join volunteers to revitalize this Glassell Park school, located at 3010 Estara Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065. Volunteer projects include planting and landscaping, painting, light construction, gardening work and more. All volunteers must create an L.A. Works account before signing up, register to volunteer at http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp1254106.jsp or for more information call (323) 224-6510.