President Obama and his daughter Malia volunteered at the Browne Education Campus in the District last year in honor of MLK Day. The president has participated in Day of Service projects since his first inauguration in 2009. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

We now all know that President Obama’s second inauguration will be a far more scaled-down version of the historic celebration Washingtonians witnessed in 2009, with far fewer balls and no star-studded concerts. The public, however, can still get in on the official Day of Service that kicks off inaugural weekend on Jan. 19.

You can sign up now for one of the Day of Service’s major, White House-endorsed volunteer events: Ten thousand volunteers will converge on the D.C. Armory to pack 100,000 “care kits” for deployed military, wounded service members, veterans and others. The event, organized by Points of Light, pays tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and is just one of the many MLK Day events across the nation. Youths and adults ages 12 and older can sign up for 2 1/2-hour shifts packing boxes and pitching in. Sign up to participate here.

President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden and his wife Jill Biden will all participate in volunteer projects that Saturday, just days before the swearing-in on Jan. 21. Just don’t count on rubbing elbows with the Obamas or the Bidens while packing kits for the troops. It’s not known if they will visit the project at the Armory. On the Mall on the same day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host an information fair promoting volunteerism.

Even if huge events aren’t your style, there are ways to give back: HandsOn Greater DC Cares is also organizing 45 volunteer events over the weekend, with education projects on Jan. 18 and community-driven work on Jan. 21. Register here.

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