Proof Positivity: The World In Excitement

Shirley Petretic

Shirley Petretic

The world waits as America will have it’s first African American president.  In Kenya they are selling scarves in a store with the image of Barack Obama. 
In Mexico former Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda states in a newspaper  “Obama’s win … opens to Mexico an extraordinary opportunity to re-position itself in the world because it will be infinitely easier to be a neighbor, ally and friend of the United States.”
Tomorrow is a world changing event as President Elect Barack Obama becomes President Barack Obama.  This opens a door for African Americans and is a step closer to having a woman as president. 
If you are planning on going to the inauguration here at this link is the site.
To kick off the event, today is Martin Luther King day.
Eleven years before my birth this speech was given.  Just eleven years before my birth African Americans were not protest1
allowed to drink from the same water fountain as a white person.  Even after  this speech I recall my dad in ignorance state “Don’t drink after a black person.  They have germs and diseases.”  As a child you naturally do what your parent says.  As I grew I began to understand how ignorant my world was.     I don’t  want my own children to grow in a world that is filled with hate.  So, I am happy an African American is going to take the Presidency. 

Day Of Service

“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”  These are the words of Martin Luther King.  Today is King Day of Service and a record number of volunteers are expected to turn out.

 Community and nonprofit groups across the country are thrilled about the large and enthusiastic response to the President-elect’s call to service, and hope that volunteers who serve tomorrow will make an ongoing commitment to serve throughout the year, as the President-elect has called for.

 In 1994, Congress passed legislation encouraging the King Federal Holiday be a national day of service, and charged the federal agency the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this national effort. Participation has grown every year since, but has taken a quantum leap this year with President-elect Obama’s call to service.

 As of 2:00 pm today, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) reported that more 12,100 service projects have been registered on the www.USAService.org website. This number is more than double the record set last year when 500,000 Americans served through 5,000 projects on the King Day of Service.

 “In this time of economic distress, we need citizen service more than ever. Service is a solution that can bring us closer to Dr. King’s dream of a better America,” said Stephen Goldsmith, the Corporation’s Board Chair. “While our nation has made great progress, we still have much work to do. Service is a powerful way for every American to bring us closer to meet our challenges and fulfill the promise of America.”

 Another driver of this year’s record turnout is the Internet. Americans can find volunteer opportunities at USAService.org or Martin Luther King Day of Service; get ideas for do-it-yourself volunteer projects at Martin Luther King Day America Serves; join the MLK Day Facebook Cause,  and project reports on Twitter .

 “Through President-elect Obama’s call to service, the hard work and planning by thousands of community groups, and the savvy use of the Internet, we will see an extraordinary demonstration of the power of citizen action across America tomorrow,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation. “We are thrilled that President-elect Obama has made service a centerpiece of his Inauguration and will make it a central cause of his Administration.”

 A wide variety of projects are being planned including delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, removing graffiti, reading to children, and more. Many organizations use the day as a springboard for year-round civic action, such as signing up mentors or tutors or youth taking pledges of nonviolence. Below are some highlights:

 

  • Thousands of volunteers will gather at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C. to assemble over 75,000 care packages to send to our troops for the “Day of Service for Our Military” project sponsored by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Serve DC in partnership with Operation Gratitude and Target.

 

  • More than 65,000 volunteers will serve in 900 projects in 14th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest in the country. Organizers are using the day to launch MLK 365, a new year-round initiative promoting sustainable civic engagement and volunteer opportunities
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  • The Points of Light Institute and its HandsOn Network will engage more than 100,000 volunteers in projects across the country that are expected to serve more than one million Americans.
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    • Today, the National Alliance for Faith and Justice recruited mentors for children of prisoners and other at-risk youth at more than 425 places of worship as part of Justice Sunday.

     

    • More than 600 Boys and Girls Clubs are participating in the King Day of Service, engaging members in community clean ups, writing letters to soldiers, organizing food drives, visiting senior centers and creating care packages for sick children.

     

    • The American Red Cross is teaming up with HOPE Worldwide to engage volunteers in 25 cities to canvass door-to-door and provide vital fire safety information to help residents prevent home fires, protect their loved ones and strengthen their community.

     

    • Many major US corporations are participating in King Day by encouraging their employees to serve and supporting local projects. Examples include Shell, Target, Best Buy, Kaiser Permanente, and Walmart.

     

    • More than 16,000 college students from 130 campuses in 28 states will engage in King Day service projects organized by Campus Compact, with projects ranging from neighborhood clean-ups to preparing and serving meals to hospice patients.

     

    • In Buffalo, NY, several hundred members of Western New York AmeriCorps program will supervise 4,000 volunteers for projects including boarding up the windows of dangerous condemned houses to teaching community members how to run their own community garden.

     

    • At colleges across the US, Campus Kitchens will engage college students and community volunteers in leading hunger relief programs to share on-campus kitchen space, recover unused food from campus cafeterias, and deliver meals to low-income neighborhoods.

     

  • Children for Children in New York City will engage 3,000 elementary and middle students in a day of hands-on service projects honoring Dr. King at two schools in midtown and Harlem.
    • Youth Service America has launched “Semester of Service” to encourages students, ages 5-25 engage in service-learning starting on King Day and culminating on Global Youth Service Day (April 24-26, 2009).

     

     

    The seven national strategic partners for the 2009 King Day of Service are the Points of Light Institute, The Corps Network, North Carolina Campus Compact, Youth Service America, Service for Peace, Campus Kitchens, and the National Alliance of Faith and Justice. National nonprofit partners include the AARP, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Red Cross, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, America’s Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Breakthrough Collaborative, Causecast, City Year, Do Something, First Book, Habitat for Humanity International, HOPE worldwide, The King Memorial Foundation, Lutheran Social Services. MENTOR, National Marrow Donor Program, ServiceNation, Student Conservation Association, United Way of America, VolunteerMatch, and YouthBuild USA. Corporate partners include Cargill, Clear Channel, Comcast, Shell Oil Company, Starbucks, Target, and UPS. A complete list of partners is a http://www.mlkday.gov/about/partners/index.asp

     

    The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation provides opportunities for four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. For more information, go to www.NationalService.gov.

     

    Google Earth A Volunteer Project

    This morning, in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Web’s largest and most popular volunteer network launched a new Google Earth™ integration that will make it easier for millions of Americans to find a great place to volunteer.

    The feature expands VolunteerMatch’s award-winning search functionality to let visitors  browse  local volunteer opportunities using the Google Earth™ mapping service. After installing the Google Earth™ plug-in, Web visitors can view thousands of volunteer opportunities posted by local nonprofit organizations that have joined the VolunteerMatch network.

    The launch is set against the backdrop of what will be the biggest Martin Luther King Day of Service in history as individuals and nonprofits celebrate the power of service and volunteering to strengthen communities. Initiated by Congress in 1994, the King Day of Service has grown in impact and awareness ever since. This year the holiday is one of the centerpieces of President-Elect Obama’s inaugural festivities and the beneficiary of his call for Americans to serve.

    “We’re proud to be investing in technology that supports the national effort to renew the spirit of service embodied by Dr. King,” said Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch. “We know Americans are hungry to get involved. Our new Google Earth plug-in makes it easier to learn about your community and connect with a meaningful opportunity to serve.”

    “To see VolunteerMatch’s Google Earth integration in action is a great reminder of the power of technology to make the world a better place,” said Rebecca Moore, manager of Google Earth™ Outreach, a company program designed to help nonprofit organizations around the world leverage Google’s mapping tools in their work. “I found it fascinating to fly around the United States and my own community, learning about volunteer opportunities in my own backyard.”

    If you aren’t able to get out and serve there are other ways to serve.

    •   Make cookies or a meal and give them to someone. 
    • Create a care package and give it to a shelter.
    • Read to a child.
    • At resteraunts, clean up after yourself.  This makes it easier for those who will have a day filled with people who might be grumpy.
    • Smile and greet those you meet.  If someone is having a bad day your positive attitude will rub off.

    Serving doesn’t have to be a huge project.

     

    A few people who will be serving on this day:

    Cooper  She has 3 blogs.  “I’m off school, though, I have to pick up some work  and am doing the project at the Cultural Arts Centers here which is a the start of another fund raising drive for money, clothing and food for the children of people from the women’s shelters in this area. It only takes a couple hours from a lot of people. We have a number of projects in the small city from people going to make blankets for hospice to food and blood donations. I’m in so it’s pretty easy for people to do this. I mentioned it on my blog too.”

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    3 Responses

    1. […] Positivity 19 Jan 2009 | 08:43 am | Category: Uncategorized       unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAmericans can find volunteer […]

    2. Great article. There is so much we can do when we put our hearts into serving others.

    3. Yes, there are and you don’t have to leave home for some.

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