[Story Break]
10 random observations about Community Clean-up Day

The little village I live in organizes a Community Clean-up Day once a year. Volunteers are assigned areas and equipped with gloves, trash bags, and bags for recyclables. Clean-up lasts for two hours, followed by a thank-you lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs served by the mayor and other village officials.

1If you want to enjoy the benefits of living in a community, you need to contribute to community life in some way. It doesn’t have to be a major contribution. A positive attitude, a friendly wave, shopping local, shoveling your walk—these are all small contributions that make a big difference.

2Spending two hours picking up trash on a windy, rainy Saturday may seem like a HUGE contribution, but it’s really not a big deal once you get into it.


3A pair of leather work gloves really can make you feel invincible in some small way.

4It’s much easier to be destructive than constructive, to toss trash than to pick it up. That’s why small, positive acts can seem so heroic.

5Whatever happened to those biodegradable chip bags by SunChips? Couldn’t all chips, candy, and cigarettes be packaged in something biodegradable? What’s the reason they’re not? Is it cost?

6Snakes are not scary, but they are surprising.

7Dead snakes are just as surprising as live snakes.


8Once your feet get wet all the way through, you know they’re not going to get any wetter, so you just kind of forget about them and keep trudging on. My junior high summer camp counselor knew this: on our overnight canoe/camping trip, the first thing she had us all do was step in the lake with our shoes on. She didn’t want anyone trying to stay dry in a situation where the safest thing might be to step out of the boat. I didn’t know it at the time, but it turned out to be a valuable life lesson.

9There’s [only] so much one person can do. Do what you can.


10Sometimes you think you’re the only one doing anything. Then you find out that you were part of a bigger group of people who care. That’s what community is all about.

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