Friday, January 23, 2009

Day of Service: January 19

Bright and early on Monday morning we headed back to The Mayflower Hotel to catch the buses to RFK Stadium for the Friends and Family of the Obamas Day of Service outing. The eager group filled several buses and friends dating back to Leif's days at Public Allies were the most precious in the crowd!Both current and former Public Allies (and even allies by proxy like me) tend to have hard core volunteer instincts and capabilities...I am convinced several PA alumni thought they would be digging trenches or painting houses at this event! This day of service, however, was more about making a massive statement than actual volunteering...okay the Red Cross volunteers who waited on us while we were "volunteering" were really volunteering, but we really just marched in line. It was fun and just a little funny...
When we set foot in the tent it was clear this was one well organized event. The goal of the day was to assemble 75,000 care packages for our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Red Cross expected more than 10,000 volunteers!
Our job was to walk in circles...take an empty bag and make our way through the line allowing volunteers to drop items into the bags and deposit them at the end...repeat and repeat and repeat! Emma and Finn loved it and the simplicity of the event really allowed them both to become invested in the day! Of course Emma figured out mathematically exactly how long it would take volunteers to fill the bags and had some serious concerns the Red Cross may have underestimated the efficiency of their volunteers...we assured her everything would be fine even though we had done more than our share of bag filling!
Michelle arrived at the event and the crowd went wild! Our instincts told us to back away and keep filling bags, but I managed to snap this picture of her in the middle of the flurry. It was an exciting and slightly sobering moment; in an instant I realized just how little privacy our first family will have and how Leif's friend Michelle has achieved a level of celebrity that is both a blessing and a curse.

After filling about 100 bags between the four of us the kids and I wrote letters to the troops and received these brownies as a thank you gift! I was exhausted and didn't even use a shovel or a paint brush!

1 comment:

lyndawithay said...

What an adventure! I've been thinking of you all this entire week. Thanks for sharing these incredible memories. I can't wait to hear about all of this in person! Welcome home! Much love,

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