During Inauguration Weekend Star Jones encourages people to volunteer

    Star Jones was among celebrities volunteering their time and talent for the National Day of Service.

    The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once asked, "What are you doing to help others?" As Inauguration Weekend kicked off, the entire United States sought to answer that question with the National Day of Service.

    Held on the weekend before Martin Luther King Day, President Barack Obama and his family started the tradition four years ago to get people to do something for the good of their fellow man.

    But the first family and Vice President Joe Biden aren’t the only ones supporting the cause. Whether it was someone in Oklahoma cultivating the Urban Harvest Garden, or volunteers continuing to help the cleanup effort in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, people all across the country were lending a helping hand.

    In Washington, D.C., thousands more wanted to know how (and who) they could help. The Service Summit on the National Mall provided them with more than 100 ways to do just that in six different sectors: Community, Education, Faith, Health, Economic and Military. Endorsing the cause of volunteerism were a host of celebrities, including Angela Bassett, Eva Longoria, Chelsea Clinton and Yolanda Adams. TV host-turned-author Star Jones also came out to talk about health, and she was easy to spot.

    Decked out in red from head to toe for the American Heart Association, Star explained why the organization was so important to her. "When I go red, I really go red! I have to represent every single day for heart health here in America," she told he crowd of eager would-be volunteers. "More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. One in 26 women will die from breast cancer. One in 3 women will die from heart disease."

    Having had a brush with heart disease, which required her to have open heart surgery, admittedly came as a shock to Star. As a Black woman, she thought the condition was "an old White man’s disease." But she learned that heart disease, which affects 22 million women, is the #1 killer of women and Black people.

    Now with a "grateful, determined and healthy heart," Star said she has become dedicated to the mission of educating people about heart disease and how to prevent it. After her speech, she posted up at the booth for the American Heart Association to answer any questions the crowd might have and to snap pictures with excited fans. She could even be overheard discussing heart-healthy recipes that she enjoys. As far as her fashion for the day was concerned, the public should expect to see Star in a lot more red.

    "I’m obsessed with red," she mentioned off-handedly. There were even whispers that Star pledged to wear red throughout the entire month of February to support her cause.

    Although heart health is near and dear to Star, she noted that there were plenty of other ways to help out in America. To encourage the crowd to volunteer their time for the worthy cause of their choic, Star recalled some wisdom from her aunt, stating, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others."

     

     

    —Sonya Eskridge

     

     

     

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