In case you have just awoken from winter hibernation, spring has finally arrived! From the high levels of pollen to the newborn animals running around spring is in full swing and will not be ignored. Since we cannot hide from it, it is time to celebrate the new spring season with volunteer work (we would not be HandsOn Network if we said otherwise)!
While April is a time for blossoming spring weather, it is also Keep America Beautiful Month! Keep America Beautiful is a time to focus on preserving our environment through recycling, reducing waste, and beautifying communities.
April is a great time to celebrate these values by starting your own volunteer project such as a community cleanup! Follow our steps below to get your project off the ground and help keep America beautiful!
Develop a plan:
- Form a planning committee to organize the project and develop a strategy.
- State the purpose of your project.
- Assign specific role to participants
- Create motivating letters to get the word out to the community about your project.
- Contact your local media to recruit their participation.
- Plan how you will recognize your volunteers and funders.
Build your teams:
- Recruit a volunteer team of all ages from businesses to kids. All ages can participate in this project! The more people that you are able to recruit the more you can accomplish and clean up.
Set a location:
- Identify an area in your neighborhood that needs to be cleaned up. Your location can be any area in your community, as long as you get permission to use it for your project. If you are using kids, make sure that your area has a place that will be safe for them.
- You will need different colored trash bags (recycling and trash), gloves, hand sanitizer, water bottles, etc.
- Coordinate with your local recycling and trash units to make sure everything is cleaned up after the project is over.
Keep your fundraising goal in mind:
- Develop a story about the purpose and history of your project, so that funders understand the philanthropy aspect.
- Empower and equip your team members to fundraise and interact with funders to ensure a successful event.
- Use online fundraising
- Pass around donation jars at local events such as youth groups, school, the workplace, or town hall meetings.
Review last minute details and communicate with volunteers:
- Make sure that everyone on your project team knows where the event is, the time it is happening, and is aware of the necessary supplies and work attire.
Recognize your volunteers:
- Show your volunteers how much you appreciate their time verbally.
- Take pictures of the event and post them on social media channels.
- Post a sign recognizing your funders.
- Outreach for media help with volunteer recognition.
Reflect and Learn:
- After the project is done, ask someone to lead a reflection of the day for the group. It is important that everyone understand the effort they put in to complete the project and how their efforts will better the community.
Keeping your community beautiful is a great way to better your economy, environment and well-being. This month get out and take pride in your community’s appearance. Let’s clean up our neighborhoods and make every month Keep America Beautiful Month!
Have you planned a neighborhood cleanup in your community, have any suggestions? We would love for you to share in the comment section below!