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A call to national service

A call to national service
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January 20 will mark a historic day for Americans. While there are millions of people who voted for Joe BidenJoe BidenFour members of Sikh community among victims in Indianapolis shooting Overnight Health: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J On The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes MORE and look forward to his inauguration, it is also a day for those who did not elect him. Amid this time when we are more divided than ever, Biden has been clear he will be a president for all Americans. It means he will work for Democrats, for Republicans like me, for those who backed him, and for those who did not.

When he takes the oath of office in front of the Capitol, we will embark on a new path of healing in the face of crisis to rebuild our country. After four years of chaos and division, which ended in an insurrection at the Capitol, the temple of our democracy where I had the honor to serve as a member of Congress, we will have a president focused on unity.

Even in this dark moment when division tears at the fabric of our country, I know that Biden can achieve that unity. I have worked with him, and I have seen the way he listens, pays attention to those left behind, and stands up for them when no one else does. I will never forget joining him for a press conference with survivors of domestic violence. Even after others left and the cameras were gone, Biden remained and acted on their behalf. He is a leader who stands up for the people and serves them.

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For Biden and so many in this crisis, service for fellow Americans is what gives us hope and offers rays of light in this dark moment. As we prepare for the inauguration and start this next chapter, it is fitting for us to come together for a national day of service, as we honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The inaugural committee partnered with local and national groups across the country for service events, and I now urge all Americans to take part. We have many ways to serve whether virtually or in person with all health and safety protocols in place.

The American Red Cross is hosting blood drives across the country, and it is in dire need of blood donations and convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma has antibodies for the coronavirus and is also a potential lifesaving treatment for those with serious infections. We face a national shortage as cases surge, so donations have been urgently needed.

The United Way is providing many volunteer events to promote reading and access for books, with opportunities for folks to record themselves reading books on inclusion and sharing those with young people and to participate in an online book drive to benefit kids. Points of Light, which provides tools and resources to help volunteer events thrive, partnered with the inaugural committee. It hosts a searchable database of service opportunities for folks to take part in today and beyond.

There are social distanced food and care package drives, online tutoring, letter writing projects to give our thanks to frontline workers, and several other service events to provide coronavirus relief and handle challenges that have been intensified by this crisis, from economic and educational disparities to racial and social injustice. You can find many more ways to get involved at the website of the inaugural committee.

It has been a difficult year for many of us, but Americans are showing up for each other in every corner of the country in big ways and small ones, demonstrating resilience and heroism while we work to defeat the crisis before us. With a new president showing the way, we will start this next chapter as the country united in service to one another.

Susan Molinari served as a former member of Congress from New York.