President-elect Obama has initiated a Call to Service Day, starting on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s observance day, Jan. 19th. You can find out what's happening in your neighborhood, then join in and volunteer to make your community a better place. That's not idealistic. That's just practical.
Vancouver, WA will be hosting two tree-planting days. Trees absorb stormwater, lower utility costs, beautify the neighborhood and provide food and habitat for birds and other creatures. Friends of Trees offers the city a variety of trees at a discount. If you set up a date with them, they'll come out with a digger, dig a hole, and help you and your volunteers plant your neighborhood tree(s). Bringing snacks is optional but always appreciated.
They'll be hosting a tree-planting on January 17th at Mountain View High School in Vancouver, 1500 Se Blairmont Dr. at 8:45 a.m.
There will be an MLK Day planting, January 19th, at East Vancouver Natural area, SE 192nd Ave. at SE 34th St. at 9 a.m.
There are numerous events throughout the Northwest for Call to Service Day, including food-pantry stocking, cleaning up and fixing bikes for kids, putting together resource bags at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library, cleaning up parks, weatherizing homes, and there will be many charity drives, involving food, eyeglasses, yoga, meditation, clothing, musical education, and dressing for success donations. It's a cornucopia of good deeds.
- Hands on Greater Portland has a list of events to sign up for.
- You can also go to Obama's new USA Service site, plug in your zip code (ANY zip code--there's tons of events all over the country), and find out what's happening in your area. Spread the news.
- City of Vancouver, WA Urban Forestry informational PDF.