January 20th, 2009
02:30 PM ET

Obama’s Call to Service: Will you answer?

Here’s my question to you: Will you answer President Obama's call to do community service?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5 pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Edwinjoe from Maryland

    Of course I will. He is the right person to call for it having achieved great things as a community organiser. The recent plane accident at the Hudson river and the excellent rescue conducted by the responders really attests to what we the people can achieve if we work together selflessly. Americans, President Obama's call is very timely and authentic, join the noble cause.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  2. carson

    Yes jack .

    January 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  3. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    Wait, I have to serve? I though with Obama being elected the government will do things for ME? What's all this talk about sacraficing all of the sudden?

    January 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  4. dennis northcarolina

    Depends on the job and if I can physically and mentally handle it. Will you , Jack ????

    January 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  5. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    As a Disabled Vet I will continue my tradition of serving as much as I am able. I will continue to help those who are Homeless, I will continue to help the Hospitalized Vets. And I will gladly make the sacrafice to aid others.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  6. Tom Bulger

    Anyone who does not, doesn't understand the meaning of American. Anyone who does not, doesn't understand the meaning of democracy. Anyone who does not, should read a dictionary as they sit spectator to history.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  7. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I'm already there Jack.......I do what I can for the community through my service club. Everyone should join the club of their choice and take an active part in making their community a better place to live.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  8. Leo in Oakland

    Chris, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country!

    I'm volunteering already with the local SPCA. 2 hours a week, it's not much but it helps the doggies and kitties that need it....

    January 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Absolutely; right after Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, Shumer, and Kerry are ousted. I will not indenture myself to these likes of these preening partisan peacocks.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  10. Russ in PA

    The government exists to serve the people, so let's hear how the government is going to go back to following the Constitution, and serving the citizens. When is the government going to volunteer to stop needless spending? And to balance the budget? And to secure the borders? When? When, if not now? When, if not tomorrow? After all, the motto is "yes, we can", so let's hear it for a return to the Constitution!

    January 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Valerie - Raleigh, North Carolina

    Jack – It would be my great priviledge to help Obama and this country in any way I can. I lived abroad for a few years and, at that time, I became the most American of Americans and returning home was one of the happiest days of my life. After 8 years of the incompetent Bush administration, Barack Obama has become my hero. And, by the way, he is only a few years older than my own son.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  12. Doug in New Mexico

    I already have.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  13. Jim/NC


    January 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  14. CarolAnn, Gilbert, SC

    President Barack Obama got mine and my family's votes; why wouldn't we serve? This nation was built on sacrifice; and anyone who thinks they don't have to participate in rebuilding the ethical, humanitarian standards and the economic infrastructure of this nation, do not need to be here.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  15. Dean in Macungie,PA


    This is nothing new to me I have done community services for over 35 years. I don't believe many people will change. All people do is complain about what some of us volunteer to do for free.
    Let's try something new, volunteer what a great country this will be and you will feel great about yourself.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  16. Jim


    Obama's message has always been one of service to the country. It's not a new message, but the time is right for us to hear it again. I think just about everyone will answer his call in their own way, from volunteering for public service to being a more productive and conscientious worker to being a better parent and better citizen. We were always ready to be led by the right person. I think we've found him.

    Reno, Nevada

    January 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  17. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I answered that call in 1955 when we returned from Japan and were stationed in Selma, Alabama. My best friend was black and we went to the movie to be treated by the other kids with contempt and looks of disgust. From that day to this I have always treated people with respect regardless of what others think and done what I can to help others.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  18. Mickie

    Absolutely! As long as we have leaders that care about the little guy, the little guy usually is the one who gets this country back on its feet. It is during the democratic administrations that the stock market does well and then the republican administrations come in and rape it. That's the way the republicans want it - the get rich off the back of the little guy. That was Reagans "trickle down economics" sales pitch and so many people bought it - of course - he was an actor! He wasn't even goot as a governor of California and ruined the school system when I lived there, but he acted as if he knew what he was doing. I will serve in any way I can - even serving soup lines if it comes to that.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  19. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Yes I will pay my taxes on time,just like the guy nominated for the treasury post;

    January 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  20. earle,florida

    No,absoutely not! I deserve to be paid for my services,just like the rest of the clowns in Washington. Man,there's something really strange about this approach,...?

    January 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  21. Tammy from TN

    Jack, I already do. Don't you (and I mean not when the cameras are on you)? Do you really think that the sheep out there waiting for my hard earned money to be redistributed to them are suddenly going to start giving of themselves? Jack, please.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  22. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Yes. I have always sat on Boards for Maternal and Family Health Services(the WIC Program) and for Big Brother and Big Sister organization. I exell at fundraising and have brought in quite a bit of money for these organizations. I also am available to help in food kitchens ,domestic violence centers and shelters for the homeless. Participating has been a continuous part of life for me.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  23. Joe in DE

    I will do what can in the way of community service. My time is limited trying to support my family.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  24. Alex Andresian

    Yes, Jack. The excitement from working with his campaign and the inauguration has not ended today, but will pour out into the public service scene. The election process has shown me that there are people out there like me that care about our nation's future as well as care about working towards a common good for our citizens. With resources such as usaservice.org getting involved has never been easier and I believe that all Americans will step up to the challenge. President Obama (boy it sounds good) is teaching us that right now its not about ME, but instead WE and this time no one is getting left behind if people serve.

    Alex from Las Vegas, NV

    January 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  25. Tammy from TN

    This sounds like people making new year's resolutions. I would like to know of all of these people here, just what do you propose to do in your new service under obama. And what is your date for completion?

    January 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  26. Terence

    Jack, I will respond for Obama and do community service right after he sends me a STIMULUS PACKAGE. This way i can support my family while i am supporting the community with my service. I hope this not how he will turn things around. If so our economy will be in a sad state. Sending free money to the banks and i have to work for free. Thats not on my adgenda to help the economy. I like to eat!!!!
    Terence, Piscataway, NJ

    January 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  27. Tom Ft Lauderdale


    I will joyfully serve as soon as I get my forty acres and my mule

    January 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  28. orion

    yes Jack.how about you?will you serve?.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  29. Henry, MN

    Anytime after 3 am, Jack.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  30. Jackie in Dallas

    I already do, but intend to do more. He was right...it is EVERYONE's job to make a difference.

    "For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate."

    This is a call to action that works at the bottom levels of our society, as well as the top. This is the type of community service we must all do: to help strangers as well as our friends, to exhibit courage in the small ways as well as the big ones, and nurture our youth, not just our own children, but all children.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  31. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    the words we are in a new era of responsibility means everyone ie. individuals, governments, cooperations, and industries must all feel this call to service in our daily lives i.e. how you take care of a child, how you work hard at your studies, or at any jobs that you have for the time, how every decision from all of us should also be based on promoting our own and other's dignity and our peaceful democracy! This call for service is also a call to do better to improve life conditions and relationships with other countries. The call for service at home is a role model to other country.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  32. Gigi in Alabama

    I volunteer now . . . in fact I was volunteering at our museum this morning and missed Obama taking the oath of office. I am sure that I will be able to see it again and again on TV though.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  33. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    There are many ways to serve your community. If we look around and see trash on the ground and pick it up. If we obey and respect our laws, and those enforcing them for starters. If you feel you can do more, than do it. If not – don't. I don't think our new president is a naive man, who thinks we should all quit our jobs and serve the community. I do think he wants to instill strength and a new sense of community in all of us as he begins the difficult task of cleaning up after his predecessors. Having us behind him will be key.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  34. Brian - Trinidad

    Its up to the big names who supported him and put down the other candidates to first answer the call.People like the numerous celebrities,media bigshots,sports figures,politicians and corporate bigwigs.What are they prepared to sacrifice?My guess is nothing!

    January 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  35. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    Of course I will, Plato said “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." So now, we can either volunteer participate in the process of rebuilding our communities and ultimately help rebuild our nation or we can continue to whine and expect someone else to “bail US out”.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  36. don in naples, florida

    it seems that government is always calling upon the masses to serve, yet when elected officials go to fill some government position and call it service, the people that are their tend to exploit and mismanage. Our leaders have exploited and mismanaged so much that now this country is in a very weak position. These are very rough times, and once again those of us out of public life will do with less and give what we can to dig us out of this mess. The question, however, "Will those who serve in washington do the same?"

    January 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  37. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, I am in service of my three month old twins, so my time is occupied there. I will, however, continue to write my Congressmen and Senators to ensure that We the People continue to have our voice heard, like it was today in Washington. Warning: Don't drag your feet and no partisan bickering will be tolerated!

    January 20, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  38. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    I will do everything possible to help the President rescue us from the destruction that greed and the Bush Admiinistration has brought us.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  39. Doug - Dallas, TX

    I already have and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, while there will be an increase in community involvement, the comments above give you a good indication of what will happen. There can be no conditions on improving the many things that need to be fixed in this country. Until that happens, the problems will continue and so will the people complaining about them while they can't be bothered to get involved.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  40. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    I served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Even though it was an unpopular war and didn't pay well, I enlisted at 17. I was uniqe back then and I don't doubt that I would be in today's society too. I think that is what it is going to take to get today's youth to volunteer–face the Draft or join the Peace Corp or its equivalent.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  41. Ilona McKinley

    I have been delighted to do my community service every Tuesday since Jan. 2007.

    Volunteering to serve lunch today to elementry and middle school was an amazing event because every single classroom had the inauguration on the overhead TV's. Even the children could tell that a new spirit is in the air, THE AMERICAN SPIRIT! Something that they have NEVER seen. I am still smiling along with everyone else.
    I got to shared this historic moment with my son, who is in 3rd grade, he was cluded to the TV! Every single American has there heart touched with the joy of what it means to be an American, TODAY!

    January 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  42. Wildman

    HELL NO. Where were these people when we needed it in the last 20 yrs. I will treat this president the same way they treated the last one. I will not come together and sing and hold hands with this president or any liberal. They have made politics a farse and a joke and just plain hateful. They insisted on disrespecting W and they only want us to "come together" so they can get the credit for doing it, They spent 8 yrs splitting us up so they will reap the rewards of the system they created. Today is an OBOMANATION. So let the fun begin, conservative revenge will be harsh.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  43. Moe in South GA


    January 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  44. steve


    Community Service? Responsibility? Work?

    We elected the messiah cause he'd solve all of the world's problems ASAP. You remember, "Change We Can Believe In "

    Have the seas parted yet?

    January 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  45. Cheyenne Champagne

    I am a 15 year old High School student in Hempstead Long Island who has been doing service for the past year. Not because I am in school and it is required but because my mother has always instilled that in my to always give back because i have been so blessed in my life and others are not as fortunate as me. Now that President Obama has reiterated that I feel much strong and proud that I have been doing so and I am able to set an example for my fellow teens.

    Thank you for allowing me to post my comment on such a historical day.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  46. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. Of course i will, not just because the President asked us to, but because the dire urgencey to save the united states dictates it. The time for americans to come together is now our very way of life and freedoms demand a united action. It will of course need compromise from both the liberals and conservatives to set aside their egos and ideology to accomplish what has to be done. Finally we have a leader to lead us into action. May God Bless us all in this great endeavor.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  47. Moe in South GA

    Sure! i think we all should ad least have one experience that shows that no matter how bad things may be for you, there's someone out there who has it worse. 'The poor will always be w/us', and better for citizens to ease the burden of other citizens w/out government intervention.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  48. JW in Atlanta

    Obama has called for the same thing Kennedy did in JFK's ASK NOT speech. People have been latching onto every possible governmental benefit ever since. To quote Lincoln is relevant today: "too many piglets and not enough teats". It's time we the people learned the ultimate civics lesson, and on the other side, it's time government leadership realizes it can't tax nor spend the nation to prosperity.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  49. Elaine from Queens, New York

    Yes Jack I will serve. I will do all and everything I can to help this country. Right now I am sitting at my desk thinking of how to start involving the young people in my community. How can anyone ignore this call to service? May God bless America and its new president.

    January 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm |