download .mp4 (30.3 MB)
President Obama has said that the challenges we face are unprecedented, and that we need to build a new foundation for economic growth in America. The Administration has begun this work with dramatic new investments in education, health care and clean energy, but we cannot do this alone here in Washington.
Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing here in Washington - and it's going to take all of us, working together.
Today marks the kickoff of United We Serve, the administration's nationwide summer of service initiative. With the knowledge that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools, this initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations and encourage people like you and me to develop our own "do-it-yourself" service projects.
And you can do all this online at Serve.gov. In fact, just think of Serve.gov as your online resource for service. It makes it easy to not only find volunteer opportunities in your community - but it also helps you create and promote your own service projects. So if you have a great volunteer idea - like a book drive for a local school or cleaning up a neighborhood park - the tools on Serve.gov help you turn that great idea into a successful service project.
You may know that service has been my life's work in many ways. It's near and dear to my heart. Earlier in my career, I helped start a wonderful service organization in Chicago that helped young people pursue careers in public service. I've never been happier in my life than when I was working to build that organization. You see, there's a feeling that you get when you help somebody else achieve their goals - the fulfillment of putting your faith into action and feeling that you're part of something bigger than yourself and doing your part for the greater good.
And while for many of us, it may seem impossible to squeeze even more time out of the day and do more - because we all have busy lives - this summer, the President and I are asking you to make time and do your part. And I promise you won't regret it.
So, 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.
So log on to Serve.gov and let's work together to build a new foundation for America. As the President says, America's new foundation will be built one community at a time - and that starts with you.