"We have great volunteers and lots of interest, but I do think it's important for the leader-elect of our country to continue to emphasize volunteerism -- I think it makes a difference," Lisa Perks, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio, told ABCNews.com on Friday. "But I also think times are really tough and more people are interested in doing anything they can do."
The president-elect called on all Americans to volunteer in a public service announcement last week, giving added momentum to a national day of service made official by the House in 1994.
To help people learn where and how they can do good, the Presidential Inaugural Committee set up a Web site, USAService.org, as a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities. More than 11,400 service projects were listed in the database as of Saturday, with more than one million people expected to serve -- more than doubling last year's numbers.
Stephen Goldsmith, volunteer board chairman for The Corporation for National and Community Service, the government agency that oversees AmeriCorps and other national volunteer programs, told ABCNews.com that the timing of the inauguration and Obama's commitment to service has "had a catalytic effect" on young people in particular who are eager to do good.
In addition to highlighting projects, USAService.org has featured guest bloggers sounding off on how and why they planned to contribute.
"We, as Americans, are defined by our sense of service, our willingness to put our country and our communities first," blogged D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty last Thursday. "It's what makes our nation great, and now more than ever, we must renew this tradition of service by making a lasting commitment to be caretakers of our communities."
Fenty spent Monday putting together care packages for American troops at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
Obama has said his hope is that the push to do good lasts far beyond Monday.
"To honor the legacy of a man who lived his life as a servant to others, I will ask all Americans to make a renewed commitment to serving their communities and their country," Obama said in a YouTube address last week. "Dr. King once said, 'Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.' You don't have to wear a uniform. You don't have to be a community organizer. You don't even have to run for president. At a time when there is so much need, we are blessed with endless ways to contribute something to the life of this nation."
As the Obamas gear up for the big day on Tuesday, their efforts to honor service continue into the evening.
On Monday night, Obama is slated to attend three bipartisan dinners, each honoring an accomplished public servant.
Those being honored include Gen. Colin Powell, Vice President-elect Biden and Obama's former presidential rival, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz..
McCain will be honored at a dinner at the Hilton Washington, spearheaded by Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.