“Initially I didn't think I had the time,” said Maggie, a jewelry artist, “because we just moved into a new house and really need every bit of our weekends to unpack.” Yet, last Saturday, Maggie and her mom Liz took to the streets of Fluvanna County, Virginia, to canvas for the Obama campaign. The teams that day knocked on 152 doors to encourage people to support President Obama and turn out on November 6th to vote. During her canvas, Maggie had the privilege of registering a new voter.
Giving time or money always means those resources are diverted from something else.
For some people, giving a few hours to the Obama campaign is simply shifting their volunteer hours to this effort. For others, it’s postponing an evening of lawnmower repair. Sometimes, it’s passing on a few hours of primetime. For Maggie, spending time on this campaign means that her house stays disheveled and her curtain rods unhung even as she begins a busy year of homeschooling her young daughter.
Every day from now until the election, volunteers from Fluvanna will weary themselves with walking to knock on doors. They will participate in phonebanks and bear up under the rare hang-ups and unanswered phones. They will staff voter registration tables at Cuppa Joe, the local coffee shop, and at Elnora’s, the county’s best spot for friend chicken and fish. They will give a donation instead of buying a new pair of shoes or upgrading their computer. They will do all of these things because they believe in an Obama presidency and because they want to be a part of something great.
As Maggie said, “Ultimately, that's exactly what makes donating to a campaign so gratifying—the personal sacrifice, because you care that much."
Maggie is one face of the grassroots effort that will win President Obama the election in November, one phone call, one check, and one knock on a door at a time.