My name is Kelly Jacobs. I'm a Senior Olympics silver medalist, a new beekeeper, a wife and mom—and every day I schedule some time to volunteer for President Obama’s campaign in Hernando, Mississippi.
The list of our President’s accomplishments is very long, but the Affordable Care Act has really helped my family. My husband has had lupus for 20 years, and he was always worried that if he became too ill and couldn’t work, the lifetime cap on our health insurance would pan out and we'd lose our home. The Affordable Care Act eliminated lifetime caps and discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and both of our college student sons can remain on the insurance policy we pay for until they're 26 years old. I can't imagine why anyone would want to erase that progress—and that's a big part of why I'm doing everything I can to help out with this election.
Since Barack Obama's election, I have been very public in my support for our President, from writing letters to the editor to learning how to use social media. Last year, I got my first cell phone so I could tweet for Barack on the go, and my Facebook page has a huge "I like Obamacare" banner across the top. Because I live in the sticks of Mississippi, I go out of my way to inspire every Obama supporter I can find to step up and take action. I want to make sure everyone knows that there is a lot of volunteer work people can do easily to help our President, no matter where you live.
I've been trying to inspire more women, seniors and Latinos to use social media to help out. A lot of the most reliable voters are older, but they’re also the least likely to use Twitter or Facebook. At my AARP meetings, I tell them even if they don't own a computer, they can go to the library and use one there—that way, they can help reach out to and inspire younger voters. Lots of the big issues in this election have to do with seniors, and I think it’s really important to make sure everyone hears our stories.
I use my Spanish-speaking background to help reach out to Hispanic voters, both on Twitter and in my community. I'm hosting a Latinos for Obama House Party next week at mi casa, which will feature a conference call with George Lopez.
I think it’s the role of older women to pass the torch, so I like to make sure young women I meet are registered to vote. So many single moms aren’t registered, and a lot of times, no one has cared enough to ask them—they’ve just got their heads down, struggling to make ends meet, and they’re doing their best. I carry voter registration forms in my purse because I care about my neighbors, and if I don't encourage them to vote, who will?
I go all out with my volunteering, which is why I'm known as one of the most enthusiastic volunteers around! I show up at political events with signs, flags, buttons, photographs—you name it. Recently, I went to the opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in D.C., and I brought along my "re-elect President Obama" signs. I hope seeing me inspired others to volunteer.
If you’re thinking about volunteering, just pick something that you like to do and schedule it into your week. Write a letter to the editor, visit an OFA office, help from your home computer using the call tool, register voters at church, or record an answering machine message letting everyone know you support President Obama—no matter what you do, our President needs your help.
I'm volunteering in my neighborhood to re-elect President Obama, and I hope you are too!