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Mesa shelter picked for launch of Obama volunteer initiative

Tue, Jun 23, 2009President
Arizona Republic
By Jim Walsh

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke led by example, reading to children and cutting a turkey breast for lunch at Mesa's La Mesita family homeless shelter as he helped kick off President Barack Obama's "United We Serve" volunteer program.

Locke, the son of Chinese immigrants who grew up in a Seattle housing project, urged Americans to help each other even more during the recession through community service.

"In these times, its even more important to reach out and help others," he said. "The message is to say we care about them, we want to motivate them, we want to encourage them to have big dreams."

Joined by U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Tempe, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and council member Dave Richins, Locke also stressed the value of education while he read to children of recently homeless parents and inspected their art work.

Tags: Barack Obama, United We Serve, Volunteer program, Harry Mitchell, Michelle Obama

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