Chicago group volunteers in DC

January 19, 2009 3:34:03 PM PST
The Obamas are inspiring stories all over the nation to giving back, including a group from Chicago who spent the day honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by donating their time and energy. A group of men from the South Side of Chicago call themselves the young and the powerful. They belong to an organization with a membership of 3,000 nationwide who are dedicated to keeping young people involved in voting.

They spent this Martin Luther King holiday at the M.L.K. Library in Washington, D.C. volunteering their time for a food drive and anticipating the swearing-in ceremony.

Larry Howard met the future president when Mr. Obama was a U.S. senator.

"He was a very nice guy. Leads a very normal life and one that we can really connect to, especially Chicagoans, knowing he attends church, takes care of his family," said Larry Howard.

They are all members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the same service organization Dr. Martin Luther King belonged to. They are still enamored by the thought of what will take place on Tuesday at noon.

"It's still somewhat surreal because I never would have thought that we would ever get to this point," said Remi Aregdesola.

Ashley Anderson from Naperville and Julie from Wilmette also volunteered in D.C. after they drove all the way from the University of Michigan. It is their hope that brought them to the nation's capital because they have no inaugural tickets.

"It was just amazing yesterday, the crowds of people and we were all in the mall area watching the jumbotrons and seeing everyone perform in the concert. It's amazing. The amount of people that came out here to see what happened," said Anderson.

Their plan? To get up at 2:30 in the morning and stake out a good spot.

United Airlines is paying for the trip and after arriving in D.C. on Monday afternoon, the students checked into their hotel and immediately began a community service project in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.