West Mifflin, PA (PressExposure) June 19, 2009 -- At graduations all across the country, commencement speakers have been extolling the importance of service. Here was the president at Notre Dame: "When you serve, it doesn't just improve your community; it makes you part of your community. It breaks down walls. It fosters cooperation. And when that happens - when people set aside their difference to work in common effort towards a common good; when they struggle together, and sacrifice together, and learn from one another -- all things are possible."
Noble sentiments, for sure. But nothing really new. Similar words are spoken every year. But there is something different this time around. This time it feels like the soaring rhetoric could actually be matched by boots-on-the-ground action. This time it feels like making service a part of our daily lives, in a way that can transform our communities and ourselves, may actually happen.
This summer, the White House is planning to issue a national call to service. But already a group of individuals from the worlds of tech, marketing, academia, and public service, inspired by President Obama's vow to make service a "a central cause" of his presidency, have banded together to create a new website that aims to become a craigslist for service. It's called All For Good.
The site, which is still in its infancy (you can check out its first, early iteration here: http://www.allforgood.org/ ), brings together listings from a variety of service organizations (and after the White House puts the call out, I'm sure many more will be signing on) to help people from all over the country connect to volunteering opportunities in their area that are meaningful to them. All For Good will soon be transferred to a new non-profit, Our Good Works, founded by the people who initiated the project.
Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, who has been working on the All For Good team, puts it this way: "All For Good makes it easier for Americans to find a way to help others out -- to give someone a break -- in a new spirit of volunteerism and service."
During the campaign, Obama regularly expressed his belief that "when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem - they are the answer."
The people behind All For Good, who work at places like Google, Adobe, YouTube, Causecast, and the Craigslist Foundation, have set out to prove him right. And they are putting their expertise in technology and the new ways we communicate at the service of service.
Link and contact info - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/all-for-good-a-new-craigs_b_208407.html