100 Service Days
Feb 3, 2009
By Dan Gelber
A centerpiece of my campaign will be to participate in 100 community service projects across our state. I did not choose this idea because the "walk" of Lawton Chiles and the "work days" of Bob Graham had been taken. I chose it because it fits me. I have always made volunteerism an everyday part of my life and the life of my family. I have been in the Big Brothers program since I was in college (including 20 years with my current little brother) and been a summer counselor at a cancer camp I helped create in 1985. I've built houses for Habitat, and cleaned beaches.
In each moment of service, I have found that volunteering brings you closer to your community and ultimately enriches you more than you ever expect, and in this time of economic struggle, it is quite clear that our our nation and state will not meet today's challenges as a collection of individuals. We must work together to build the America we want for our children and grandchildren. Government, while important, will never substitute for the efforts of upright volunteers who contribute only out of a high-minded belief that it is their civic duty. This has been the American experience.
So through the election I will endeavor to meet Floridians all over this state who have decided that it is their business to pitch in and help a neighbor, and lift a community. I will keep a log on my blog with videos and pics. And if you have a service event I should know about please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next weekend I will start at Oleta River State Park in Miami-Dade where some congregants of my own synagogue will be planting indigenous trees to help restore some of the pristine fauna of this important Florida park. This project is part of dozens of coordinated "mitzvah" day events were hundreds of congregants fan out across Miami-Dade to feed the hungry, collect clothes for the unfortunate, or raise the spirits of the elderly.
I look forward to rolling up my sleeves with you. Together, we can do this.