National Volunteer Week in Canada was on April 10-16, 2011. However, there were many volunteer events held throughout the whole month. I had been sending many volunteer applications since becoming unemployed, but I didn't get a match up until recently.
My neighborhood mall was hosting a clean up event for Earth Day and I gladly accepted the call. I was happy about this because I believe we should save the environment for ourselves and for future generations. All I had to do was show up that morning and get ready to go outdoors. It was a cold and windy day but luckily the rain didn't come. I had on 5 layers of clothing topped by the brightly-colored volunteer shirt they gave us to wear. It sure was easy to spot us even from a great distance!
After a brief welcome speech from the mall management, all volunteers joined their teams and headed for the outdoor mall area they were assigned to clean. My team of 8 people cleaned up the surrounding area near the grocery store and the highway. Three of them were employees of the mall and the rest of us we re shoppers and students. Armed with our poking sticks, a rake, garbage bags and garbage bin, we picked up trash bit by bit. By the end of the morning, we had gathered approximately 10 bags of garbage!
People do not realize that even the smallest piece of wrapper or cigarette butt they toss aside hurts the environment. The earth is our only home and all of us must do our best to protect it. Picking up trash may not be a glamorous task but somehow we all did our small part to make a difference.
We ended our volunteer work with the outdoor barbecue the mall provided. Despite the cold, it was a good experience and I even made some new friends. We also got some free flower seeds to plant in our own gardens. All volunteers were able to sign a board and make their mark to commemorate the day. I look forward to doing it again next year!