Helping out on Election Day is invigorating. Making calls, knocking on doors, and talking to voters on the day when it matters most is one of the best things about being a volunteer with the Obama campaign.
April 3rd was primary day in Maryland. It was hectic and long, but in the midst of everything, I met a phenomenal woman with one of those stories that reminds us all why we work so hard for this cause.
I met Maritana while escorting her and her disabled son to the polls. Within a few minutes I learned that she was 84 years old, lives in Essex, and lost her husband only a year after moving to the United States from Poland.
Having recently broken her hip, she moved slowly into the passenger seat. As soon as she was settled, she pulled out a very old red photo album from her purse to tell me her story.
After losing her husband suddenly, being alone in a new country with a young child, she decided to volunteer in her community and make a contribution to the country that took her in. Early on, she realized that civic engagement and community organizing was one of the most fulfilling things she could do. Being a part of something bigger than herself, and lending a helping hand to those who needed it the most is what got her through those trying first years.
At the polling site I waited just outside the room while she and her son Charles voted. I watched from a distance as she pulled the album out again to share with the election official.
I knew right then that we shared that day was what so many others in this campaign share: a story. We all have our own story about why we take part in the democratic process and are inclined to make a difference.
So much of what I do as a Regional Lead is listen to people and learn about how President Obama has touched their lives.
As I took Maritana and her son home, she thanked me over and over again for making sure that she was able to vote today. She was so grateful that her story was heard. I wonder what my little album will look like in 45 years...
Be part of our incredible Maryland team—join us next week as we reach out to voters about health care.