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Obama participates in community service projects one day ahead inauguration


10:33, January 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama joined local residents of Washington D.C. in observing the National Day of Service, which fell on Saturday.

On the cusp of his second inauguration and a national holiday to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., President Obama, joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, went to the Burrville Elementary School in northeastern Washington, where about 500 volunteers gathered to complete a school makeover, according to the White House.

TV pictures showed both Obama and Michelle painting a book case together with other volunteers at the school.

While addressing the volunteers at the school, Obama stressed the importance of giving back and called on Americans to volunteer and serve others.

Vice President Joe Biden and his family also went to the D.C. Armory to help pack 100,000 care kits filled with necessities for deployed U.S. service members, wounded soldiers, veterans and first responders.

Elsewhere in the U.S. national capital, local residents and tourists were active in taking part in community service projects organized by various groups. A Service Summit, which took place at the National Mall inside a huge tent pitched near the Washington Monument, was kicked off by celebrities including former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and actress Eva Longoria.

Shanell Smaw, a tourist from Raleigh, North Carolina, said she arrived in Washington earlier in the morning to participate in the inauguration events.

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