A call to serve

©Stella Kalaw

I took my chances this afternoon and walked a block to the Moscone Center to try and catch First Lady Michelle Obama speak at the 2009 National Convention on Volunteering and Services. When I arrived, several flat screens in the lobby were carrying a live broadcast of the event. I could not believe my luck. The door on the right remained open and I had an opportunity to get a glimpse of her in person while she was giving the keynote address.

From the White House press release:

San Francisco – First Lady Michelle Obama and Cabinet secretaries are fanning out across the country today to participate in community service projects as part of the launch of United We Serve, a national call to service by President Obama.

Mrs. Obama will kick off United We Serve by joining California First Lady Maria Shriver and volunteers in helping build a public playground at an elementary school in San Francisco. Later in the day, she will make a call to action to more than 4,500 nonprofit, volunteer, and service leaders at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.

United We Serve is an extended call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. The Corporation for National and Community Service is leading the initiative, which kicks off today and runs for 81 days through a new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11.

In a video message released today, Mrs. Obama stressed the importance of service in her own life and urged Americans to go to Serve.gov to find local volunteer opportunities. “This summer, the President and I are asking you to make time and do your part…Wherever your interests lie - whether it's working with young people or caring for the sick and elderly in our hospitals, or helping to make the homes in your neighborhood more energy efficient - or any other issue, the most important thing is for you to get involved.”

Website: Serve.gov