From Sunlen Miller:
President Obama and the first lady participated in the National Day of Service by picking up some paint brushes to help paint a Habitat for Humanity home in Northeast DC. With his shirt sleeves rolled up and blackberry on his hip, the commander in chief freshened the walls of a soon-to-be living room – going over the already white walls with a new coat of white.
“I don’t think you’re going to have to redo it, I hope not,” Obama joked about his painting skills, “After we leave they’ll be well like ‘oh well man that was really messed up, that was really messed up.”
The first couple worked along six volunteers from the Habitat for Humanity project. Kent Adcock, Humanity Chair, told them that the houses were built in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“You guys have done some excellent work,” Obama said.
The Obamas also toured the broader worksite– a development with 53 houses by the organizations – which should be completed in early 2010.
The National Day of Service and Remembrance was created by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which President Obama signed in April.
Members of the administration have fanned out across the nation to lend a hand, the White House says. Health and Human Services Secretary participated in mass vaccination exercises at a high school in Virginia, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack prepared meals that will go to homeless shelters, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan served with City Year AmeriCorps members to help beautify an elementary school in Washington, DC, among others.