CHICAGO (AP) — People across Illinois will participate in a National Day of Service as President Barack Obama's inauguration activities kick off this weekend.
In Chicago, volunteers will gather at Navy Pier on Saturday to write letters and put together care packages for service members overseas. Other events are scheduled at food banks, homeless shelters and churches statewide.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama started the tradition of a National Day of Service the weekend before his 2009 swearing-in ceremony.
People in all 50 states are signed up to participate this year.
Steve Kerrigan is president and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. He says the day of service makes the inauguration "truly a national celebration."
Obama will be sworn in for his second term during a ceremony Monday in Washington, D.C.