01/15/2009 06:53 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Do Good on Your Day Off

If you've ever wanted to do some public service but couldn't fit it in with an already overloaded schedule of work, play and/or family obligations, our savvy President-elect is online to help.

The Presidential Inaugural committee "launched a national organizing effort on the eve of the Inauguration to engage Americans in service." Their website ( gives users an opportunity to host or signup to do good works by zip code. One stop shopping to serve others. The site encourages volunteers to start with the upcoming three-day weekend and see what happens...

A cursory glance for service activities in my New York City 10021 zip code includes more than 75 events. Some endeavors take just a few minutes (like dropping off clothes at Housing Works) while others run all day (like working at a food bank).

The family took a look and decided what we wanted to do. The 14-year old plans to volunteer at City Arts Pieces for Peace creating public art and her younger brother will make welcome kits for children in area hospitals. We'll round up some friends and embrace the power of doing good because "we can."

It's been 25 years since the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday was signed into law as a national holiday. A decade later, the holiday was transformed by Congress into "a national day of community service." Obama's new website gives us the chance, as a tribute to the King legacy and the needs of our nation, to do something for someone else. Better late than never.