Locals answer Obama's call to service

January 18, 2009 5:05:26 PM PST
The excitement over the inauguration is not limited to the East Coast.

In the Bay Area, President-elect Barack Obama's call for service inspired many people to volunteer this weekend. At Glide Memorial church in San Francisco, Obama played a central role in spirit.

Barack Obama might be all the way across the country, but on Sunday morning he was the centerpiece of Sunday's service at San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church.

They prayed for him.

"My brothers and my sisters, you must have what Obama calls.... The audacity of hope," Rev. Cecil Williams told his congregation.

They even sang a song about him.

For many people like Horace Thomas, the buzz leading up to the inauguration of the country's first black president is something they never thought they would see.

"I never thought I would be able to see this. But, I'm glad to see this happen. It's about time. We need a change," he said.

And, while the excitement had people clapping and singing at Glide, in other parts of the Bay Area, people went to work.

Dozens of volunteers flocked to food banks in San Francisco aresponding to a national day of service. Obama called on all citizens to volunteer in the days leading up to Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

Daniel Silverman organized more than 20 volunteers from his San Francisco neighborhood. Many of them were campaign volunteers who felt like they still wanted to give back to the candidate turned President-elect.

"Most importantly, a great way to show that we all need to come together to help get our country back in shape. That's really the message that President Obama has for us and we're trying to heed that message today," Silverman told ABC7.

At the San Francisco Food Bank the response to President-elect Barack Obama's call to service has been overwhelming. In recent days there were so many volunteers the food bank actually had to extend its hours and even turn some people away.

Those who could not make it all the way to the nation's capital on Sunday seemed happy celebrating and praying close to home.