The idea came to me late at night on September 2nd, 2014. I was laying in bed thinking about my purpose in life and what direction I was heading next since I was almost finished school and my current work contract would be coming to an end.
I had coordinated a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in Bobcaygeon, Ontario two years in a row and was about to host my third event. A disadvantage of living in a retirement community is that many of the residents aren't physically able to participate in events like a shoreline cleanup, so I thought maybe I could take a sponsorship approach to get more people involved. Plus, I was interested in doing more than just one clean up per year, I wanted to make a bigger impact. My first sponsor was my own 84 year old grandmother. I went out the next morning and picked up 250 pieces in her honour, and that's when the magic started to happen. When people who were out in the community saw me picking up litter and collecting data they got curious. People wanted to know what I was doing. Once I explained my effort and talked a bit about environmental protection and its importance many people were not only willing to help, they really wanted to help. Almost every time I went out to collect litter I met someone new and usually gained more support. I was also having amazing conversations with people about the environment and the community. I was receiving so much positive feedback that I knew I had to keep this going on for a while longer. What's even better is that people started contacting me and asking if they could come out to collect litter with me.
The success of this project over the first three months led me to turning this project from a small scale community cleanup to a non-profit organization that aims to clean up communities across Ontario, Canada, North America.....and even globally. We all want to live in a safe, clean, healthy environment and now you have the opportunity to join me. Together we will have A Greener Future!
The First Cleanup: Sept. 4th, 2014
Incorporated as a Non-Profit: Nov. 19, 2014
First Government Grant: Mar. 10, 2016