Late Tuesday night as the long presidential campaign finally drew to a close, President Barack Obama sent an email to supporters.
“I want you to know that this wasn’t fate, and it wasn’t an accident,” Obama said. “You made this happen.”
In New Hampshire, the efforts of SEA/SEIU 1984 members helped make the president’s victory happen. Whether they were veteran volunteers or newbies, and whether they worked for a few hours or a few hundred hours, members did their part.
For Kevin McMahon, who works for the Department of Safety, those efforts included many hours making phone calls, and in the final days, going door to door to get out the vote. On Wednesday, McMahon said his experience volunteering for Obama left him with positive feelings.
“It was very gratifying to reflect back on the work that I did — and I didn’t do much more than any other canvassers or fellow phonebankers — but it was gratifying looking back on what little I had done in encouraging people to vote,” McMahon said.
“I’m glad that I did it,” he said. “I hope that I had some impact.”
Kristen Marabella worked long days canvassing Saturday and Sunday, made phone calls on Monday and then canvassed some more Tuesday before working all night at the Concord staging area. She was certain that efforts like those helped turn the tide.
“Without volunteers, I don’t think that we would have won in New Hampshire,” she said.
Jeanne Hibbard-Bickford, who also works for the Department of Safety, was confident volunteers’ get-out-the-vote efforts had a big impact.
“It made a huge difference because if you didn’t get out there, you didn’t influence people and get them to vote,” said Hibbard-Bickford, who canvassed and held signs in the pivotal final days.
She said that volunteering had a big impact at home, too.
“It made me be a role model for my son, who’s going to be voting in four years, so it opened up his eyes to what I was doing,” she said.
And those volunteer efforts helped get Jeanne and her son Caleb close enough for the presidential rally on Sunday in Concord that Caleb was able to shake hands with both President Obama and President Clinton afterwards.
“It was an amazing experience,” Caleb told his mother.
These are just a few of the many volunteers, but there were many more of you out there. We hope you’ll share your volunteer story in the comments field below.