0
Votes

National Day of Service Launches Inauguration

Local residents give back to their communities and pledge ongoing service.

The Junior League of Northern Virginia took part in the National Day of Service by assisting volunteers in making cards for homeless and hospitalized children. Clockwise from left: Gretchen Johnson of Springfield; Jennifer Bornhofen of Arlington; Junior League of Northern Virginia member Holly Dalferes of Vienna; Kailynn Bray, Brittany Carr and Bradley Smith of Arizona.

The Junior League of Northern Virginia took part in the National Day of Service by assisting volunteers in making cards for homeless and hospitalized children. Clockwise from left: Gretchen Johnson of Springfield; Jennifer Bornhofen of Arlington; Junior League of Northern Virginia member Holly Dalferes of Vienna; Kailynn Bray, Brittany Carr and Bradley Smith of Arizona. Photo by Victoria Ross.

The 57th Presidential Inauguration began Saturday, Jan. 19, with hundreds of Americans rolling up their sleeves and serving their communities. More than 13,000 people attended the day’s marquee event, the Service Summit on the National Mall, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The all-day event honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting community service. President Barack Obama launched the National Day of Service as part of the inauguration festivities four years ago, along with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. In 2009, he visited injured soldiers and lent a hand on a homeless shelter renovation.

“Our volunteers packaged food at our Vienna Pantry and delivered it to 30 clients throughout the Fairfax County area who receive supplemental food from us every two weeks for approximately four months.”

--Lisa Whetzel, executive director, Our Daily Bread

On Saturday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the day with daughters Malia and Sasha at Burrville Elementary School in Northeast D.C. With the help of 500 volunteers, they gave the school a makeover as part of an event organized by City Year.

The Bidens spent part of Saturday at the D.C. Armory for the Unite America in Service event, where volunteers packed 100,000 care kits for U.S. service members, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders. The kits include lint rollers, dental floss, toothbrush and toothpaste, wipes, Band-Aids and sanitizer.

A variety of service events were held on the mall and in Fairfax County. The Junior League of Northern Virginia assisted volunteers on the mall in making cards for homeless and hospitalized children. Gretchen Johnson of Springfield said the event was a “great start to the inauguration,” and “a wonderful way to be a part of the inaugural weekend and give back to the community.”

In Fairfax County, volunteers joined Our Daily Bread, a Fairfax nonprofit, delivering food to low-income families.

“Our volunteers packaged food at our Vienna Pantry and delivered it to 30 clients throughout the Fairfax County area who receive supplemental food from us every two weeks for approximately four months,” said ODB Executive Director Lisa Whetzel.

The signature event included speakers Chelsea Clinton and actress Eva Longoria, as well as booths where participants could learn more about local and national service organizations.