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

Obama says 'lace 'em up' for service

The White House released an excerpt from President Obama's message on community service, which will air during the NBA All-Stars game Sunday.

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. sherey

    If the President and First Lady can give of their time then i think all Americans can be just as generous and volunteer in whatever way they can.

    February 14, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Smith

    The president is doing his best to help a hailing America, therefore I cannot understand why people are so critical of his effort. Change is hard to come, but people need to give up their old habits and embrace the change. We alI have to come together and help each other. The government alone cannot do it all. The republicans are rich business men and women and that is the reason why they do not care fore the poor.
    Do not give up OBAMA I love you.....God bless

    February 14, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Obama Cares

    What an amazing President, with this kind of encouragement, things will start getting better.

    February 14, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. jane doe

    You are not alone lp although good intentions obama sounds as he he is going to make service law

    February 14, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Susan in NC

    Yes, we can! Thank you, President Obama, for your inspiration and your leadership - keep up the good work!

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

    Oh, please, give me a break "Yes We Can". You say, "He's gonna bring out the better angels in us". If you didn't have it before something tells me you'll be that "little angel" for a very short time before you become very bored with it.

    Our family has given money to shelters and volunteered for years and it just sickens me the people who don't. Oh, now that your "Messiah" has become President do you really think people will change. I hardly think so. Giving is something you learn from a very young age and something you do all your life because it's the right thing to do. Most parents fail to teach that very important lesson anymore. It's all–ME ME ME!!!!!

    So, don't tell me just because Obama has become President we will all love one another and give, give, give. Humans just aren't that way anymore.

    One thing for sure, I worry about the next four years! God help us!


    Proud To Be From Texas!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Give me a break!

    Jemma – calm down. Your meds are on the way. Obviously you need a reality check. YOU are what makes this country so U-G-L-Y.

    February 14, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. crimson

    The message Obama attempts to convey here is an excellent one. It is the role of each individual to better the lives of themselves and their loved ones and neighbors. I only wish his ideology here were not in such stark contrast to the ideology he holds with respect to his willingness to allow the generation of trillions of dollars of government debt and obligation. Our founding fathers never intended government to operate in the manner it does today.

    February 14, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. Ed's Kate

    I think the people of this country who are down on the new President should take a good hard look at who caused all the problems we have.
    It is NOT the new administration, it is the one that just ended.
    It is time we all stopped and took a good hard look at what needs to be done and with ALL of us working together this will happen.

    February 14, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Suzie McKay - Now a Democrat - and proud to be!


    Be careful – your ignorance is WAY too obvious.

    February 14, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. OKC

    I laced'em up long before Obama was in the Washington.

    February 14, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    President Obama is, so far, the epitomy of service, diligence, and hope. He and his family have a legacy of service to the community prior to his election to office, as shown by community service during the holiday season. His diligence is unquesitoned; he is a workaholic who seems to get very little sleep. HIs work ethic is enviable. He epitomizes hope; who else would spend an inrodinate time of money, time, and effort on behalf of compromise or bipartisanship? He netted just enough to get what he needed–a stimulus bill that BEGINS the process of economic recovery.
    That's hope!
    Now he wants to continue to remind us of our own blessings, gifts, and talents by challenging us to SERVE! President Obama makes it simple, brief, and to the point–we all have more than we know, and we have the opportunity of a lifetime to lend a helping hand to each other.
    I am excited...I plan to get my family involved and excited, and those at my workplace. I urge everyone to DO THE SAME!

    February 14, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Justin

    Hey jeema, Your the one that sounds like a fool to me. Grow up!!

    February 14, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Sean

    I am all for giving back to the community. The President doesnt need to tell each one of us that. We as Americans and as humans should know that we need to give back to our community. This is not change. This is not something new. This is what we have been doing for many generations. This is a value we had since the start of our nation. I am not sure of building basket ball courts that was rather focused comment on a specific group but thats fine if that group doesnt give back to the community then maybe they need a push to do more and Obama knows it.

    I did not vote for the man. I do not support the cabinet picks. I do not support how the recent bill was put together and pushed through our governement when he promised change and promised that there would be a revisit to how the House and Senate was suppose to work. I do not support how he wanted to move the oversight of the census to the White House under Emanuel's very political hand. (stronger than Rove.) I do not support the fairness doctrine. I do not support gun control. I do not support abortion rights unless there is rape involved.

    I do suggest that we as a whole try to work together. The Left and the Right in this country has pushed each other farther apart since 9-11 then OBL has ever dreamed. He took from us 1 trillion dollars in one day then watched us take 10 trillion over 7 years. He has also watched us tear the country apart with our Left and Right views. 2006 was a turning point in this country and we were not even smart enough to tone our elected officials to what was going on. Their left wing views and vengance was more important than the good of country. That does not mean the Right helped any to extingish the anger.

    Obama talks a good game but in the end when push comes to shove he to speaks words like "I Won." Well America. We lost.

    So it is up to each one of us to lace up our work boots not our tennis shoes and reach out and help. What should I do? At the very least go vote in 2010.

    February 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. Oregon

    What a wonderful accomplishment and not even one month into our new President's Term. You're doing Great OBama! We're all behind you!

    February 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. E. Beckwith

    The only people that have bankrupted our Nation are War Profiteer Contractor's headed up by members of the Republican Party! During World War II, we gave those job's to the American Women who built our Air Craft and to the "Common Men" of Ford Motor who built our Tanks and Jeeps, that is what got my Parents and Grandparents out of the Great Depression. President Obama realizes this and will put the money back where it belongs..To Americans who live in our Nation's hometowns, not to Halliburton Inc., KBR and Blackwater! I am praying right now for the rejuvenation of The Civilian Conservation Corp and The American Union "Made in U.S.A."!
    A Combat Veteran's Mother

    February 14, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. Hopeful Optimist

    In such uncertain times when we're facing such daunting challenges its comforting to have a chief executive/commander in chief who is not small and petty, who is proactive in searching for solutions to problems which are inherited from the watch of the pretender who went before. He uses inspiration instead of fearmongering.

    February 14, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Rlopez

    I am three months away from getting a double master degree in social work and child and family law Loyola University. Concurrently, I am an intern in a k-8 all boys private, faith based school in the North Lawndale Community. When I logged on to CNN I found President words:

    " find or create a project near you, then gather some friends and lace 'em up." The children in this community have been "left behind" !!!

    February 14, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Matthew, Detroit

    You people are wrong about being a PATRIOT.

    The gentleman is talking about fighting tyranny for freedom. Freedom from taxation without representation. Free from being dominated by foes at home and abroad. Barack loves himself some foreign opinions. You need to research the founding fathers not Barack I can play round ball on my homeys court obama.

    It has nothing to do with giving for free.

    And by the way Michelle and Barack are getting paid and always have.
    They have never done anything for free.

    February 14, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Yes We Can!


    Why are you so hateful? Can you come up with something more justified...please stop spitting so much hate. What has President Obama did to you. Open your mind a little you may be suprised!

    February 14, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. Rick

    Why dont you tell those crybabies who are on welfare to give a little than consistantly begging for government support. I have given community service and donated money but now I am out of work and Obama wants more. Obama you have bankrupt or kids and grangkidds with your stimulus package so we know that we will have to make it better for our kids thanks to you and your administration. Back to the turn of the century, good thing I still trust in God because I cant trust my elected officials.

    February 14, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. Doug

    Is it a fact that they Donate using their own money to support others OR just use government funds to help?? It is easy to get others to do the work, just look at the campaign last year! This could be a double standard of enormous proportions.

    February 14, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Stay Active

    I became active this past election season after several years just watching. We worked hard getting this man elected and we will not let our communities or him down . My family and I just got home from a gathering with my broward4obama group. We made cards and wrote letters to send to the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also made Valentines cards for the Veterans hospital in Miami. We worked a soup kitchen in Ft. Lauderdale. We made a pact to do a community service project once a week. I work and live pay check to pay check but there are so many more out there much worse off than I am.

    Get involved, we can make a difference.

    February 14, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Chris in Iowa

    None, and I mean NONE, of my comments ever get posted by CNN. I have been so inspired by our new POTUS that I have started donating regularly to our local food banks, and my husband has been out picking up all the trash that accumulates along the interstate during the winter. If you want to view the stimulus bill google HR-1. I downloaded a pdf copy on 1-15-09, and there are several versions on the web.

    February 14, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Last Patriot, I pray that you are the LAST of your specie. Nothing that comes out of your mouth is patriotic.

    God bless my President, family and staff. God bless America – even the Republicans.

    February 14, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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