WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is lending his stature to an initiative from the incoming administration to connect volunteers with causes that need them.
"Let's come forward to serve our fellow citizens and to serve our nation," Colin Powell said Friday.
"We have an economic problem," Powell told a Washington news conference Friday. "People are losing their jobs. Let's come forward to serve our fellow citizens and to serve our nation."
President-elect Barack Obama's "Renew America Together" initiative will officially launch a Web site on Martin Luther King Day, January 19, to help people answer the call. Obama's inauguration is the following day.
The Web site, www.USAservice.org, will allow people to offer their time or resources and be contacted by people in the community who need that type of help. Watch Powell detail the rewards of volunteering »
Powell said the site will follow the model of craigslist.org, a worldwide virtual bulletin board where users can post free classified ads.
The King holiday has become a day of community service in many places.
"The goal is for MLK Day to reignite the American tradition of service and volunteerism and to that end the current call to action is viewed as a starting point," the Web site says.
"A lot of the nonprofit organizations that I am working with have seen their contributions drop off," Powell acknowledged. But, he said, "my experience is that in time of need the American people recognize that they have to do more than they might have done otherwise."