"Help clean up Mommy's River so that the fish don't get sick anymore." Evan, age 3
I can't believe the 16th annual Clean Your Streams Day event is nearly here. I remember the first one when a handful of us (including Brian and I) gathered in a few locations to do what we could to put a dent in the horrible litter that had made its way into area streams. Little did we know that this event would grow into a region-wide, astonishing 768 people cleaning more than 20,000 pounds of trash (big and little) from more than eight streams in Northwest Ohio! Every year, even in the pouring rain one year!
A Personal Story...
As the event has grown year after year (and I've gone from intern to Executive Director here) I've watched my family grow up alongside as well. Now I'm not only an environmentalist, I'm first and foremost a mom. I want Evan and Kaitlin to grow up playing in the river, exploring the outdoors, and falling in love with it as I did as a kid.
A few years ago I didn't have to "work" Clean Your Streams Day" as a leader and I seiged that chance to take Evan along and "just" volunteer. He was only about 3 years old, but very excited to go to "work" with Mommy. He knew I helped take care of the Maumee River here in Northwest Ohio and so off we went early, early on a Saturday morning. He patiently sat through the orientation, safety briefing (luckily we had donuts!) and getting our assignments. Soon I took him to a very large pond that is the starting point for one of our little streams and we donned our gloves and garbage bags and picked up trash for about 2 hours. Along the way we watched for birds, ducks, and even saw a dead fish (yuck). We talked about how the garbage got there and why is shouldn't be there. At the end we joined many other volunteers for a picnic and got our event tshirts (even one for him!). He went home and told Daddy and everyone who would listen for months afterward that he ...
"Cleaned Mommy's (aka Maumee) River so the fish wouldn't get sick anymore" proudly wearing his CYS shirt as much as possible! To this day, almost 6 years later, he still picks up trash whenever possible, wears his many CYS tshirts often, and lectures people about the trash going to the river. And, of course, looks forward to participating in CYS every year.
This year, he and Katie helped me teach his roudy Cub Scout pack about what I do, and why, and he happily led the charge in cleaning up our church parking property (before the trash could make it to the river) and last year, at Clean Your Streams Day, Evan and Katie proudly helped teach Annelise (4 years old and a CYS first-timer) what CYS was all about. Now she too can't wait to help her Mom, my world's best Jack-of-all trades assistant, Paige, clean our streams.
Evan, even at three years old, knew he did his part...now will you? Why am I reaching out to you? Because I want to continue to see this event thrive, and continue seeing the tons and tons (literally) of garbage hauled out by dedicated volunteers every September. Not because I work for the group that is committed to giving Ohians back "fishable and swimmable" streams, but for a more personal reason now.
I know you can't literally come to CYS Day so I am giving you the opportunity to participate "virtually!" I am asking friends and family like you for a donation of $20 or $50 or $100 or whatever is significant for you. Or get creative - maybe $16 to celebrate the 16th Annual CYS or $55 to celebrate PCS's Fifth anniversary this year! The money goes towards the supplies, like gloves, garbage grabbers, first aid kits, tshirts, an appreciation picnic and more. Our planning team works hard for 6 months to get as much as possible donated, but given the times, that has been a challenge this year. So we're trying something new and giving friends and family the opportunity to sponsor participants like Brian, Evan, Katie, and I!
Please log on, now before you forget, and make a donation! Or pledge to give me a check asap! Evan, Katie, Brian and I appreciate your support and we look forward to cleaning up our river again soon!
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!