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Volunteer opportunities abound
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Keep Liberty Beautiful logo
Sara Swida is director of Liberty County's Keep Liberty Beautiful.

We are already two weeks into a new year, so I have to ask you how are those resolutions going? If like many of us, some of your resolutions are floundering around Neverland already, I would like to share a couple of options for you to consider that will ease your conscience.

Some of the more popular resolutions that people make each year are variations of losing weight (sorry, can’t help you with that one), becoming more active, becoming a better person, etc., etc., etc. Well, my suggestion is to consider volunteering this year.

According to several research studies, volunteers are happier and feel more fulfilled, have lower blood pressure, have fewer mental health issues and they live longer on average. Those are things we can all benefit from.

There are many opportunities for volunteering in our community. I urge you to find one of those opportunities and "plug in" because you will make a difference in your life and in our community.

Keep Liberty Beautiful is a community education, volunteer action program that is all about taking care of our environment. These are the issues that guide what we do: litter cleanup and eradication, recycling and waste reduction, water quality and water conservation and growing a better world and a better community.

If you are interested in any of these areas, here are some ways you can volunteer with KLB in the next few months.

In February, we are all about trees. Georgia Arbor Day occurs each year on the third Friday in February.

Why are trees important? A strong tree canopy in a community provides more than beauty. It also provides us humans with oxygen and with shade. It helps cool our community in the summer heat. It prevents erosion. It provides habitat for birds and wildlife.

We celebrate Arbor Day and trees each year by having tree giveaways to encourage more people to plant and enjoy trees. We will be giving away trees on Arbor Day weekend, Feb. 16-17.

Volunteers are very helpful in the preparation for these events — taking reservations, tagging and organizing trees and moving trees to pick up locations. If you would like to reserve a tree for planting, we will have several types of trees — dogwoods, crape myrtles and oaks. Trees are always very limited.

We want to encourage any civic or youth groups, schools, churches, businesses and municipalities, as well as individuals, to reserve a tree to plant if you are interested, while our supplies last. We will start taking reservations on Feb. 5.

In February, we also hold quarterly Recycle It. Fairs to help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and to provide items for recycling to help conserve natural resources.

These fairs are held in three locations each quarter and we accept a host of items from electronics to paint, to certain types of light bulbs and batteries, to many household goods.

Twice a year we also hold Shred Day, so that residents can safely and securely dispose of old financial, medical, household and business records.

Cleaning out and organizing your household or business storage is another great way to protect our environment and to help your own mental health. Clutter ain’t good for you.

These fairs will be held on Feb. 17 and volunteers are always helpful in preparing for and manning these locations.

March through May, KLB partners with local cities and neighborhoods to hold our annual Great American Cleanup events with thousands of other communities internationally. Volunteers are the heart of these events to make sure that we citizens share responsibility in keeping our local community healthy and thriving.

We welcome volunteers for these events. More than 900 local citizens made a difference in these efforts last year. There is plenty of room for you, too.

In April, we celebrate the earth. It is our home after all. If we do not keep it clean and our water resources healthy, who will?

We hold our largest annual community education event in conjunction with Earth Day each year. We have a shoe string budget, so sponsors and hundreds of volunteers make this event possible through months of planning and preparations.

Believe me, we welcome volunteers for this communitywide event.

This spring we will also be working on some beautification GROW projects with schools and organization, as well as some potential educational workshops.

Are you looking for a project for your church or group or neighborhood? These projects provide an opportunity for young and older citizens to get their hands dirty and make the world pretty, too.

We have also focused on edible gardens in the last few years, so there are many benefits health-wise and community-wise to get involved.

I hope I have stirred your interest — and maybe your resolution conscience – with some of these opportunities. Start off 2018 right by finding your way to make the world a better place.

For more information on these volunteer opportunities, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at or check out information at

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