February 14th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama says 'lace 'em up' for service

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/14/art.obamanba.wh.jpg caption="The White House released an excerpt from President Obama's message on community service, which will air during the NBA All-Stars game Sunday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama - fresh off a political win in Washington after Congress passed his economic stimulus bill - will take his game to another set of constituents: basketball fans.

On Sunday, a pre-taped message from the president in which he promotes community service will air during the NBA All-Stars game in Phoenix, Arizona. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. EST and will air on TNT.

TNT is owned by CNN's parent company Turner Broadcasting System.

Watch an excerpt of Obama's message

"In this time of so much need in our communities and across our country, we are blessed with endless ways to restore hope and opportunity in places that yearn for both," Obama will say according to excerpts released by the White House Saturday.

Obama's plea: "Prepare a care package for a soldier. Read to a child. Or fix up a local basketball court so the next generation can play and grow. ... Log on to USAService.org to find or create a project near you, then gather some friends and lace 'em up."

ALSO: Watch NBA greats weigh in on Obama's game

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. andrew s. rostolder

    i think the president is doing a great job so far. he is trying to bring the parties together. if the republican partisan politics continue, 2010 will be another blood bath that will last 20 years... get off your high horse republicans and start thinking about america.... not the bushie past....

    February 14, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Tom

    Thats right Oprah are you listening to Obama, You have it in you to share some of them billions. You Hollywood and elite Socialist multi-millionaire Pelosi types get on out here and help. You can and should give up 3/4 of what you have to make things right in this country. I need a new car, I need a Flat panel LCD tv, I need another computer for my kids, I need free cable, Free cellphones, Free food for my family. So all you haves out there its time to give, give, and give more.

    Very easy lesson the more you have the more you can give simple as that.

    February 14, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Rita

    He wants us to give right? Even though he and Michelle paid taxes on an income of 4 million their charity was a measely 7 percent of that, typical of the democrats do as I say not as I do!

    February 14, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. MrManhattan

    I'm not sure if I like this Obama guy, he wants us to work.

    All Bush ever asked us to do is buy things!

    February 14, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Beverly from NC

    Obama is a great leader and great man. He has so many messes to clean up and yet he still remembers to ask people to reach out and help each other. He knows that part of restoring the nation is restoring our humanity – which Bush and the Republicans destroyed by trying to divide Americans.

    It's obvious now the Republicans care nothing about America. Their goal is to play games and do everything they can to slow our progressive President Obama down. They lied throughout the entire stimulus package debate.

    Tell me Boehner – how is it I could read the package and you did not? The major components never changed – just a few changes were made in the end to try to appease you obstructionist Republicans. All you had to read was the changes and you should have already known what they were if you were involved in the House debate on the final bill that went to the Senate.

    Your whole little histronic performance was just that. You saw a camera and decided to throw a fake tantrum and lie about the fact you had no time to read the bill. Republicans are showing us more each day that you are liars and hypocrites and that we cannot trust you.

    America – you know what needs to be done.

    House members come up for re-election every 2 years, so in 2010, we can vote out the entire Republican Party from the House – Boehner is already in trouble with his constituents in Ohio. He and his drama will soon be gone.

    Each state has 2 Senators and they each have 6 year terms but only one at a time is voted in/out in the election. For example, in NC we got rid of Sen Dole (R) and replaced her with Sen Kay Hagan (D). Our other Republican do-nothing Senator, Richard Burr, will have to run for re-election next. We are already working for a strong Democrat candidate to ger rid of Burr and we will.

    So – come 2010 – vote out all the Republicans up for reelection and then the rest in 2012. They didn't get it that we disagree with their failed leadership and dishonorable and disgusting tactics when we just voted almost every Republican in 2008. Maybe they will finally get that we are sick of their nasty, obstructionist, NOT "country first" arrogant attitudes when we vote even more out of office starting in 2010.

    The Republicans betrayed all of us by trying to slow down the stimulus package and lying about what was really in the package. We can all vote "NO" too in 2010 on every Republican up for re-election.

    The more we get rid of in 2010, the faster the nation will recover and move forward with new progressive programs. The GOP end is near.

    February 14, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. BURNS




    February 14, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. billy-bayou

    This obama guy is a real honest, down to earth, SCREW-BALL.
    Th inmates are now running the asylum.
    What a shame... this is the best leadership this country. We surely will now and for the forseeable future be the laughing stock of the civilized world.

    February 14, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Gary

    Just when I was about to lose faith in Obama, he came out with this brilliant but simple plan. Community service and the way we live our lives is key. And it's even broader than community service. It is looking at the way we choose to lead our lives. Take care of your family, your friends and your community. Donate time to a good cause like helping someone in need. Open a door for someone. Don't steal, Don't say hurtful things about each other, treat others as you would want to be treated. Pay your bills on time and don't borrow for frivolous things. Work on our flaws (jelousy, temper/anger, selfishness). I think that we are too conditioned to believe that government will change our lives when it is really us who can change our own lives and the lives of those around us. We need less government and more caring people devoted to each other. Whe we help each other we all get fulfilled and we appreciate it more. When the government does it people think they have a right to that help or service. There is a big difference.

    February 14, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. jaye

    I can happily say I'm doing my part in helping those less fortunate.
    Americans are generous people who come to the aid of those in need – I am so proud to be an American.
    God Bless the USA!!

    February 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Jeema

    Lets see....I work hard to educate myself, I work hard at my job, I work hard at having a home and yard and a few meager posessions. Yet the Messiah and the Democrat party wants to rape me ? If sensible in Cape Coral wants to be raped, go for it, but leave me out of this nasty Obamania.

    February 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Lovin Obama

    So far, so good Pres. Obama – and to people like "the last patriot", were you complaining this much when the rethugs were in charge & getting us into this mess? get a clue, the rethugs have already bankrupted this country & jokers like you need to be regulated cause you can't regulate yourself – i think you're the one who's crazy

    February 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Azam

    Last Patriot: Bankrupt the country? Bankrupt is when you have a surplus and reduce it to zero (or perhaps even below zero which is called a deficit). I don't think that Obama did that, must have been the guy before him... what was his name again?

    February 14, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Sam Spade

    I'm not American. And I'm certainly not religious. But I will say this: God bless the President of the United States of America.

    February 14, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. John Illinois

    This is starting to make people sick. I remember when Bill Cosby said the same things and some people were calling him a racist and an uncle Tom. Just because Farakhan's messiah is saying it now these are somehow profound words? Oh fricking please.

    February 14, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Simon Cleary

    That man, Obama, can really spew words, can't he? Too bad he has nothing to back up his words.

    February 14, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Rogelio

    Is Obama plan to be on the air everyday?

    February 14, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Larry

    This is just talk,now that the government has just pulled the rug out from underneath us,and the next two generations of Americans will be paying for this,and you are smiling,I don't get it.

    February 14, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. w.l. jones

    I know whole family work for free and they is not crying so it about time everybody give a little dont any one think so.

    February 14, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Marion

    To 'The Last Patriot":

    If you were a true patriot and not merely using that word, you'd be willing to help others for free. Is it too much for you to take an interest in your community and help out where you can without getting paid to do it? President Obama isn't asking you to work for the government for free; he's simply asking that you take an interest in the world beyond the circles you normally travel in.

    Example: I work in transportation, and I got a call the other day from a lady who was trying to help someone get transportation from her home in a rural area several counties away to a local doctor. The prices she had been quoted were too high, and she thought we could help. I knew we couldn't transport this person because we can't offer service for medical appointments, and I could have told the lady that, hung up the phone, and moved on with my day. Instead, I decided to do a little more research and discovered that the public transit agency for that county could offer service into this area for a reasonable rate. I called the lady back, and she said that the price I found was something her church could afford to pay for. From start to finish, this took me 15 minutes at most, and now this person will be able to see the doctor.

    I'm not posting this story to promote what I did but merely to say that a very small amount of work on my part that took very little effort for me led to a positive outcome for someone else. And THAT'S what we're talking about here. All you're being asked to do is to take a little bit of time out of your day to help others, not because it's your job, not because you have to, not because you'll get somehow rewarded for it, but because people need your help, and because it's the decent thing to do.

    February 14, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. meh

    Last Patriot> Wow. Selfish much? It's called volunteering. Why twist it around to be something bad?
    Helping other people is the ONLY way we're going to get out of this mess. Not to mention, it's just good karma. Get a grip.

    February 14, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. Stu-Florida

    What??? What?? Our country has finally elected a LEADER? A leader that inspires? Just what is going on here? We hooked up with someone who asks for some help, some time for those that need it. Spend some time fixing something up, reading to a child? Just what have we done here??

    We've made the rest of the world jealous... that's what we've done!
    I believe we finally got it right. I believe in OBAMA!! GO O

    February 14, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Doubting Thomas

    That's nice.

    I expect more from my president, however.

    This, while nice and a wonderful gesture, is great PR but I am expecting behavior that is more presidential than I have thusfar witnessed.

    Some will use this to love and adore, some to bash- it is fodder for neither.
    We have yet to understand what he just signed and how it willimpact us, our children and our childrens children. Only time will tell so let's not get all too emotional, one way or the other, over this stuff.

    And don' wait for another to tell you what you should already have known and been doing.

    We are in this together so let's all keepour eye on the ball and protect what we have been given to protect, support that which causes us to be a stronger nation and fight that which weakens us.

    February 14, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. Eric

    This is one of the most wonderful things the US government has done in a long time. This new service website is going to help launch thousands of service oriented projects across the country. Countless people in need will be helped by these projects. I just signed up.

    February 14, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Nikole

    Stephen- Just so you know, the NBA does participate in many community service projects already, and players from impoverished areas often give back to their communities. You may not hear much about it if the players aren't from your area or there is not a team in your area. Not much emphasis is put on the good that some athletes do, but as soon as they screw up it is all over the news.

    February 14, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Kay

    The Last Patriot
    You should consider taking up the name Saddist.

    February 14, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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