One of the great pleasures I have in working with Keep Liberty Beautiful is getting to know some truly wonderful local citizens over the years. Particularly, getting to watch young people volunteer at a young age and as they grow up become even more involved with this program.
One of these treasures is a multi-talented young woman who started volunteering several years ago and then began working part-time with KLB as a college student. Last weekend we had multiple projects going in town as well as an annual beach cleanup on St. Catherines. I opted to take care of the events on the mainland, and Leah Hayes coordinated the beach volunteer group. Here she is sharing her perspective on the beach cleanup and why she KLB’s as a young woman:
"As a college student, I’ve had to learn how to balance the important things in my life. One end or the other something suffers when my life is unbalanced. When I devote more time to studying and school work, my social life can come to a halt. That can lead to damaged relationships or missed opportunities to meet my soulmate and to have lifelong friendships.
"While on the other end, if I focus more on my social life and having fun, then my grades suffer and I could end up failing a few courses. In the same way, I believe we all — young and old — have to find time to take care of our environment and our community. That is an essential part of a balanced life because the consequences of neglecting it could be devastating.
"Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to coordinate the Keep Liberty Beautiful’s annual St. Catherines Beach Sweep — one of my favorite KLB programs. About 35 volunteers traveled by boat to the island on Saturday morning, thanks to the gracious boater volunteers who make transportation possible. Everyone came with such enthusiasm to do their part. It made me feel like there are still people in this world who care about the world they live in.
"Yet, there is so much that we all can do. A man named Richard Rogers once said, ‘The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everyone involved.’
"St. Catherines Island is so beautiful, as is the rest of the world around us. Going there always inspires me to do my part to keep it that way. I want to be sure that my peers and, one day, my children understand that keeping our land and our waterways clean is important.
"I’ve observed us make time for concerts, parties, and sporting events. We will save hundreds of dollars to travel to watch our favorite sports team play a game. The same way we plan and prepare for those things is the same way we should start to plan and prepare ourselves to get involved with organizations that are creating opportunities for us to better our world and our future. To prevent my grades from falling, I have to make time to study. To maintain friendships, I have to make time for them.
"Taking care of our world requires the same kind of planning and commitment. Before the Earth is too sick to provide us what we need to survive, we have to find a balance that includes devoting time to keep it beautiful.
"I encourage you no matter what your age to get involved. Plan now to make a difference by contacting us at Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org."