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Joe Biden’s inaugural team is hosting a national day of service—here’s how to get involved

President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee is hosting a national day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day prior to his inauguration on January 20. The President-elect, Vice President-elect and their respective families are all expected to take part in the festivities.

The committee is working closely with community leaders and local organizations to plan and organize events that meet the needs of cities across the country. The events will address issues exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, such as hunger, racial injustice, poverty, mental health, homelessness and educational disparities. 

"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are empathetic leaders who know the crisis millions of American families are facing," Tony Allen, CEO of the inaugural committee told CNN.  "And like Dr. King, they know that we must have a shared commitment—in word and in deed—to bring the nation together in service to others."

The committee is encouraging partners to hold virtual events to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although there will be some in-person events, all activities are required to follow health and safety guidelines.

While many of President-elect Biden's inaugural events have been altered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the national day of service remains structured similarly to those of years past. The tradition was born when President Bill Clinton signed the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994. The holiday, which established January 18 as a federal holiday and national day of service, has been celebrated by President George W. Bush and Barack Obama. President Obama's inaugural programming included national days of service in both 2009 and 2013, which is believed to be the inspiration behind the national day of service planned by the current presidential inaugural committee.

“When Dr. King accepted the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, he underscored our collective responsibility to strive towards the ‘oughtness’ that confronts us as it does today," said Allen. King's message could not more aptly describe the current necessity of finding safe ways to volunteer in your community, especially as the United States continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. 

Are you interested in getting involved with a service project in your area? The presidential inaugural committee is updating its website daily with new service projects and other opportunities to get involved with the national day of service. From bake sales to supply drives, there are projects for every level of involvement. Whether you want to volunteer virtually or in-person, there will be various opportunities available for people across all 50 states.


Image: Presidential Inaugural Committee

How do you plan to give back to your community this year? Let us know by tagging us on social media @girlslifemag.

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by Claire Hutto | 1/18/2021
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