Category: Entertainment / January 21, 2013 1:36 PM EST
As part of inauguration weekend, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and actress Eva Longoria participated in a volunteer fair on Washington's National Mall to celebrate a national day of service on Saturday (January 19).
The event featured booths from various national and local service organizations where attendees had the opportunity to participate in service events, receive training and sign up for opportunities to volunteer in their communities.
"I am so grateful to see so much enthusiasm in this room today...I think it is a lot more fun when we all work together," the event's honorary chairperson Clinton said, before sitting down with children and helping to make cards at the Junior League of Northern Virginia booth.
Actress Eva Longoria, who also participated in the event on the Mall, called for Americans to volunteer in a cause she champions: education.
"As you make the dream of a good education a reality, you will find that giving back not only benefits the community but it is going to enrich your life as well," she said.
Longoria appeared before the media at the "First Book" booth, a booth run by a non-profit group that provides new books to underprivileged children.
First Book volunteer Becki Last said having Clinton and Longoria at the event helped bring attention to her organization as well as others.
"Anytime you can have someone like Eva Longoria or Chelsea Clinton participate in your services, it raises awareness," Last said.
As event attendees walked through the event tent, they stopped at booths to learn about dozens of different causes, including Autism Speaks, the American Heart Association and Best Buddies.
Patricia Minor, a nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas who attended U.S. President Barack Obama's first inauguration, participated in the volunteer fair and pledged to work 1000 volunteer hours in 2013.
"I came four years ago and was a spectator and took in all the fun activities and this time I decided I wanted to come and have a different focus and I decided to do volunteer work,"
Dave Fabris, a musician from Mount Vernon, New York, spent his time at the fair writing letters to veterans and service members.
"It's a great day to reflect and to think about what the government does for us and if there was something we can do, just like John F. Kennedy said, what can we do for our country," he said.
Four years ago, Obama and his family started a National Day of Service on inauguration weekend, to honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Saturday, Obama started his inauguration weekend by joining in a nationwide day of community service projects honoring the slain civil rights leader . The public swearing-in will fall on the national holiday marking King's birthday.
The president, first lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters went to a local elementary school to help carry out renovations as part of a National Day of Service, a volunteer program launched when he took office four years ago as a way to pay tribute to King's legacy.
Service projects were set up in all 50 states, and the inaugural committee offered links online to find projects ranging from clearing invasive plants from a hiking trail to putting together packages for U.S. troops overseas.