Thursday, January 17, 2013

Prince George’s Community College takes Alternative Winter Break

This past week here at Clean the World Recycling Operations Center, a group of students from Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland have spent part of their winter break volunteering with us. With their leader, Paulette McIntosh, Program Director of College Life Services, they travelled to Orlando as part of the schools “Pathways to Leadership Program”: a program that offers leadership through community service opportunities to encourage students to learn how to address their own communities’ problems and find creative grassroots answers to those problems.

Throughout the week, nine student volunteers and Ms. McIntosh, both traditional and non-traditional students, have worked at scraping soap and making hygiene kits for those in need. When they return to school at the beginning of the semester, they will conduct a formal presentation about Clean the World and the work they did here; help spread awareness of our mission to their campus by holding a soap drive; and keep us in their hearts as a frame of reference for “people, not government” tackling a problem.

The students shared that they were amazed with Clean the World’s “creative solution to changing lives” and “that such a simple idea brought so much help to others”. They were happy that “in a couple of hours, they could personally help so many”; volunteer opportunities are open to everyone; and, that volunteering here is a “simple way to give back”! One student loved the ripple effect that each person working and volunteering at Clean the World causes.

Prince George’s CC “Pathways to Leadership Program” is an initiative of the President Obama’s Presidential Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge that “builds understanding between different communities and contributes to the common good.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ofbnp/interfaithservice)

During their stay here in Central Florida, Prince George’s students are being hosted by the First United Methodist Church of Orlando. After their days of volunteering with us, they work their evenings with the church’s “Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network”, providing dinner, tutoring and social interaction with families in transition that are temporarily being sheltered there. They even made 51 Hygiene Kits and donated them to Family Promise! These hardworking and kindhearted students have chosen to help in our Central Florida Community in many ways during their winter break!! When they leave Orlando on Saturday, January 12th, they will be on their way to New Jersey to further assist in Hurricane Sandy relief!

They told of a billboard outside of the church where they are staying and said that its display showcased the spirit of Clean the World to them; but that billboard surely applies directly to them: “Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of!”

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