02/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Today Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, and there is a new voice in Washington... Ours. On Tuesday we will all be given the chance to take the oath.

As we enter this unprecedented inauguration and embark on a new chapter in America's history, there is a reborn sense of what it means to be American; that everyone can make a difference, and that "TODAY IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL."

In November, we received a call to action when President Elect, Barack Obama, said, "So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other."

It is one of those rare moments in history when we are being called upon to serve - a time when we are encouraged to: actually get involved to effect meaningful and sustainable social change; be part of the solution; and not just change our outfit, but also outfit change.

We recently created a T-shirt that is being worn by the volunteers at the pre-inaugural event at the Neuseum on Monday evening. It states "OUR INAUGURATION" with "WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER" shown in a symbolic "O" representing our new President, Mr. O himself, and his message of outreach and inclusion. 100% of the net proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to the AWEARNESS Fund - a non-profit entity that supports, encourages and empowers acts of service, volunteerism and social change. The T-shirt is available now at

It's hard to ignore the current economic climate or the fact that it's not likely to get better any time soon. The worst part of it all is that the sector that's being hit the hardest is the one that can afford it least: the world of the non-profit.

This past November, under the notion that, "NO GOOD DEED SHOULD GO UNPUBLISHED." I launched a new initiative called, AWEARNESS. This expansive campaign aims to encourage, promote and empower any individuals who are inspired by acts of giving back. At anyone can sign up to join the AWEARNESS Alliance, whose purpose is to create a community of dedicated volunteers who strive to make a difference through service and volunteerism. utilizes social and volunteering networking capabilities so you can enter your zip code and get a list of volunteer opportunities in your community. You can also participate in the AWEARNESS blog, read inspiring stories of those who have volunteered, purchase AWEARNESS products, such as socially-relevant T-Shirts and the AWEARNESS book, "AWEARNESS: Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference." Again, 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to the AWEARNESS Fund.