Why there’s no better time to join Biden, Harris through acts of service

OPINION: Biden Inaugural Committee chair, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, urges Americans to participate in National Day of Service

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., pass each other as Harris moves to the podium to speak during a campaign event at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

My hero, mentor, and dear friend John Lewis once stated, “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”

Civil Rights icon Congressman John Lewis (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Indeed, our country has recently stared down some of the darkest moments in our history — including the recent assault on the U.S. Capitol, an insurrection incited by Donald Trump. But through it all, we have witnessed unparalleled acts of heroism and love, many of which remain unknown and unsung. 

It’s John Lewis’ words that rang true during this crisis — the determination of frontline workers who have carried us through this pandemic, of parents marching toward a safer and more just future for their children, and of organizers and voters who stood against attempts to thwart our democracy. 

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As we stand on the precipice of a new dawn in our country, it will be these heroes that build and repair that define us — not those who seek insurrection and destruction. 

That’s why as chair of the Biden Inaugural Committee, it’s my honor to help welcome a new era in our democracy through a National Day of Service. On the very day we honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy —  just two days before President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are sworn into office — we will honor the acts of service that have helped bend our country’s arc of history toward justice. 

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris take the stage at the Chase Center to address the nation November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

From growing up in Wilmington and working my first job at a McDonald’s on Market Street to beginning my public service career as a caseworker helping my fellow Delawareans with Social Security benefits, I’ve witnessed the impact that even the smallest acts of service can have on individual lives and entire communities. 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris understand that impact because they’ve lived it — and they’ve dedicated their life’s work to public service. They know that our national strength is drawn from our kindness, our resilience and from what we contribute — not what we destroy — and they are determined to ensure that as a people, we’re defined by that inherent strength. 

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On Jan. 18, we will demonstrate our strength through acts of service that will reverberate in cities and towns across America. Together, we will raise our voices through deed — proclaiming as one people that it’s what we build and how we serve one another that represents us. And it’s that strength that will usher in a new beginning. 

Employees of Food Bank For New York City provide food and other essentials for healthcare workers on April 14, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City)

You can join us by signing up at bideninaugural.org/day-of-service to volunteer virtually or safely in person for opportunities ranging from COVID-19 support for our frontline workers, much-needed and life-saving convalescent plasma donations, tutoring, donations to local food banks, and other volunteer opportunities to support those in need.

Together, determined and committed, there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome. Together, we can forge a new, brighter path for future generations. 

Those interested in joining the Presidential Inaugural Committee on the National Day of Service should sign up to volunteer at bideninaugural.org/day-of-service. Those that are local, state and national organizations that are interested in hosting a service event or supportive service efforts can email serve@bideninaugural.org to learn more about how to get involved. 

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester represents Delaware in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves as an Assistant Whip for House Leadership. Lisa sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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