Litter Blog 3

When 9 people fill twenty enormous trash bags with litter in one hour, you know you've made a difference.

I'm Zack Hersh, and as an Agent of Change for litter, I organized a litter pickup around SLA, on April 13th, 2013 from 12-1 pm. While it wasn't quite the turnout I had hoped for, the nine of us picked up pounds and pounds of litter on 22nd Street and the disgusting Trader Joe's parking lot and green space. We left the area much cleaner and greener, and went home feeling satisfied.

But it took a lot of effort to get there. First, I had to familiarize myself and get to know the issue inside and out, and I did that through my first and second blog posts. Afterwards came the pickup.

The only thing I thought would really make sense to do for my Agent of Change part was a pickup, especially of the local community. This was narrowed down from other possibilities being Raising Awareness, Money for Organizations like "Keep Philadelphia Beautiful", and petitioning or trying to get more trash cans put in.

My vision was a bunch people all gathering around SLA, and working together, making a difference, and having a good time, in purging the neighborhood of litter.

Once I had the idea and vision in place, it was time to set a date, and time. It was a surprisingly tough decision. I was conflicted between having it be after school or on the weekend. If it was after school, it would be much easier for more people to come. But that would've limited it to mostly SLA students, and most sports, including baseball and track, have practice after school every day. With a weekend pickup, this wouldn't be a problem, but it would be harder to get a turnout. 

Ultimately, I decided on a weekend pickup, and scheduled it two weeks in advance for Saturday, April 13th from 12:00-1:00.

The next, and most important part of my process was getting other people to join me. 

I made flyers, and put them up all over school. I made posts to Facebook. I got two announcements in the Advisory memo. I talked to people directly. And, after all that, I had 3 people in total who said they would come, plus me and my parents.

But things have a way of working themselves out, and following that motto plus help from friends, when the pickup came, we had nine people in total.

Ridding the streets of all the garbage felt really good, and really satisfying. In that way, devoting myself to this issue, and being an Agent of Change, has strongly impacted me, for the better. Even the first two blog posts, researching it, and spreading the word, really made me feel like I was making a difference. It really made me feel like I was doing something right. I feel that this project, this experience, has strongly instigated fundamental, significant growth in me, and this is visible through my actions and who I am after this. It showed myself that I can lead, and surprised myself with what I am capable of. This was a demonstration, awakening, of leadership I didn't know I had. 

In the end, I can go to sleep at night knowing that my community is different, better, cleaner, because of me. Knowing I started something that snowballed into so much more than I ever thought it would. 

Knowing that I impacted, knowing that I changed my community, and almost without realizing it, let, and inspired others to do the same.

Click here for my bibliography.