Week 15 – Capital Letter = Capitol Litter

January 18, 2009

Dear Obama Family,

Ben and I would first like to thank you for calling upon all citizens to join a “National Day of Service” on January 19th (MLK Day).  Unfortunately we both have to work that day so we are doing our civil duty a day ahead. 

Your speeches and call to arms initially motivated us to give back to our communities and prompted us to start our bucket brigade.  Today we thought it would be apropos to pick up litter in our state capital as your family helps to clean up  Washington D.C.

Our first glimpse of the rotunda as we drove towards Olympia, Washington was truly awe-inspiring.  We chose to pick up litter at Capital Lake Park which is adjacent to the Capital.

The park was pretty clean but unfortunately the area across the street reminded us of our harsh times. We almost picked up litter around a doorway that we suddenly realized was someone’s home.  The difference between Have and Have-Nots is much too great in our Capital much less our society, no matter how small the proximity.  We love the fact that your family is trying to bridge that gap and is starting where your new home is located; Washington D.C.  as we continue to do our part in Washington State.

We realize that the hope of change and the hope of a better world and the hope of a better future for our children are in our hands.  It is not in the hands of one man, or one senate, or one state.  It is in our hands and our hands alone.  We chose to dirty up our hands today and pick up litter, what will you choose?  We love the fact that out of defeat (New Hampshire primary) that Barack gave us one of his most famous speeches and uttered these words:

“we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can.”

So as Martin Luther King once said, “Let us not despair.  And let us go out and work with renewed vigor to make the unfolding work of destiny a reality in our generation.” 

We have enclosed pictures of our call to service.  Thank you for yours,

Lori and Ben







  1. you’re a great environment keepers!

  2. Keeping the trash picked up seems like a small task but the beauty of the clean area spreads a bit of joy around. Thanks for sharing the light!

  3. So good to see the same empowerment of individuals to generate whatever change they can in their own environment both sides of the pond. Saw your link on ‘people clearing litter’ in the UK. Good to feel part of an international movement to take responsibility for the way our local environments are experienced by ourselves – and others.

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