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Remarks of President Barack Obama

United We Serve Video - June 16, 2009

download .mp4 (32.9 MB)  |  also available here

We stand at a unique moment in the history of our nation.

The challenges we face are unprecedented in their size and scope, and we cannot rely on quick fixes or easy answers to put us on the road to recovery. In this new century, we need to a build a new foundation for economic growth in America.

My Administration has already begun this work with dramatic new investments in education, health care and clean energy – investments that will create new jobs and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity.

But we cannot do this alone here in Washington. We can rebuild our schools, but we need people to be mentors and tutors in those schools. We can modernize our health care system, but we need volunteers in our hospitals and communities to help care for the sick and help people lead healthier lives. We can invest in clean energy, but we need people to use energy-efficient products in their homes and train for the green jobs of the future.

Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington – and it’s going to take all of us, working together.

That is why today, I'm announcing my summer service initiative: United We Serve.

This summer, I'm calling on all of you to make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of this nation. And when I say “all,” I mean everyone – young and old, from every background, all across this country. We need individuals, community organizations, corporations, foundations, and our government to be part of this effort.

We’ll be focusing on core areas of our recovery agenda – health care, energy independence, education and community and economic renewal. And we’ll officially kick off United We Serve on June 22nd, with members of my administration fanning out across America to participate in service events and encourage all Americans to join them.

You can get started right now by helping us provide those opportunities for people to serve.
If you’re involved in a service project in your community, go to Serve.gov and register it on this website, so that other people can sign up to join you. If you have an idea for a project – like getting a group together to volunteer each week at a homeless shelter, or read to kids at your local library, or pick up trash in a local park – you can go online and register that too. The website has everything you need to get started. And if you’re someone who’s interested in volunteering, you can go to Serve.gov to find opportunities in your community.

United We Serve will be led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, and it will run from June 22nd through September 11, a National Day of Service and Remembrance. And I hope you will continue the service-work you begin this summer for the rest of your life. Because America's new foundation will be built one community at a time -- and it starts with you.

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Tell us how we're doing: serviceinitiative@cns.gov

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