Today I had the opportunity to volunteer with others of various ages and stages in life. We combed Seal Beach and picked up trash and recyclables. I do my best to complete at least one service activity in every location. The activities do not always have to be with a specific organization either, but this time I was fortunate to find Amy and the Save Our Beach non profit organization.
I called Amy, who started Save Our Beach, and she was excited to have me join their team for this Saturday morning. It was actually one of the most well organized clean up activities I’ve been a part of. When I arrived they had parking vouchers for those who parked in the lot. Then after signing a waiver, you were given gloves, a trash grabber, and a bag for recyclables as well as one for trash. Thinking you might get hungry somewhere along your route, they offer you a free Cliff Bar to enjoy. Then you are sent off on your mission. In pairs, groups, or flying solo, volunteers comb the beach and pick up what has been left behind by other patrons.
The volunteer activity takes place from 9AM – 12NOON. I’m mentioning the time because this is early enough to catch some true Californian surfers who are in turn catching waves in the ocean. How awesome is that? It’s so exciting to watch them catch waves.
My thoughts are always interesting when I do a clean up activity of any kind in a public place. Part of me thinks to myself “man, humans are lucky to be at the top of the food chain, because we sure do leave a trail behind everywhere we go. It would be easy for anyone to find us. Just follow the wrappers and bottles!” And then I also think “I love this planet and I love opportunities to keep it clean so it thrives and can be preserved for me, as well as those that come after me.”
I’m posting the story below from their website, which really gets to the core of their mission and why they do what they do:
A young girl was walking along the beach…
where thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. She began picking up the starfish one by one, and throwing them back into the ocean. She had been doing this for quite some time when a man approached her and said “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at the beach! You can’t possibly save all of these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference.” She smiled, threw her hair back, bent down and picked up yet another starfish and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean , then replied to the man “made a difference to that one!”.