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When most people think of Hawaii, they think perfect, pristine beaches. But while there’s lots of natural beauty in Hawaii, it’s not always picture perfect. So in honor of Global Youth Service Day, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu is organizing a beach cleanup. They’ve asked mentors and mentees to come out on Saturday, April 16, and lend a hand.
Alicia Gutierrez, a community-based case manager, is organizing the effort. She thinks Global Youth Service Day, organized every year by the Washington, DC, nonprofit Youth Service America, is a great opportunity to teach youth the importance of giving back. “We’re doing the cleanup at a beach we use frequently for our activities and events," she say. "It’s a public beach, so we think it’s a nice way to give back to the community."
Case managers have been talking up the beach cleanup for weeks with mentors, mentees and parents, trying to recruit as many volunteers as they can. But it won’t be all work and no play. Crews will go out in groups of four, so matches can meet and mingle with each other. And after the cleanup, the organization is hosting a picnic, where they’ll play games and give prizes to the team who collects the most trash.
"Everyone will get to enjoy their efforts after the cleanup, and we're showing them that service can be fun, too," Gutierrez says.
Millions of young people celebrate Global Youth Service Day in over 100 countries and across six continents. If you’re planning to participate, please let us know. We’d love to feature your good works on our website.
If you haven’t planned a project yet, there’s still time. Go to the Global Youth Service Day website for ideas, planning tools and a map of projects already in the works.