One of our nation's most impressive qualities is service. Americans' willingness to come together, step in, and help others is a terrific demonstration of how we honor all that we have by giving something back to the community. And, last Saturday, on Make A Difference Day, an estimated 3 million Americans did exactly that.
I was fortunate to attend a playground-building event with my wife Kathy at a school here in Washington, DC. It was organized by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose mission is "to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities."
KaBOOM! has been building playgrounds since Make A Difference Day in 1995, and the project on Saturday was their 1,894th. I think that is a record of service worth celebrating.
My colleagues in the Obama Administration agree; also helping out on Saturday were HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The more than 500 volunteers who also pitched in made sure we were far from alone. That's right--five hundred people showed up at 8:00 on a Saturday morning!
I love the KaBOOM! mission of a place to play within walking distance for every child in America. But our kids don't just need playgrounds; they need sidewalks and paths to reach those playgrounds safely. And that's where the Department of Transportation can help.
But I'll save the policy discussion for another time. Today, let's just celebrate the millions of people across America who gave up their time and energy on Saturday to help Make A Difference.