Volunteers like George dealt with lots of garbage at the Clean Up. Christopher Leclair
If you have ever tried to take on coordinating a big event or project, then you know how much work it can be. All the planning and checklists and phone calls and messages can be overwhelming. So many people and groups counting on you to make the thing go well, or at least meet their satisfaction. In the case of the Annual McCauley Clean Up, it takes on a new meaning, due to the fact that it seems that all the neighbours are watching, the community league board is observing and making notes, households across the neighbourhood are eagerly awaiting their trash to be picked up, and businesses and volunteers are looking for leadership and direction. But, in fact, all those factors fade away when the great people of McCauley begin to assemble, and the love and generosity of friends and supporters start to sync up and swell into a huge ball of cooperation and positivity, dimming the anxieties and stresses of such a big day.
It began early with community member and McCauley Apartments tenant Chris at 6:15 a.m., greeting the drivers of 310 DUMP, receiving the bins, and ensuring that they were placed in the right spots. Also, it was an early start for tenant and board member Darren Sr. to have Chris’ back, and be around all day just in case there was any trouble. It continues with others like Leif, Shawn K, Roxy, Jo, Sascha, Kenny, David, Debbie, James, George S., Shanice, Barry, Ellen, Darren G., Pearl, Jackie, Randy, Sean, Jenn, Bernie, Ray, Daniel, Dan, Harley, Adam, Gordon, Allan, Les, Heather, Albert, Phil, Lee Ann, the Host Lions Club folks, Kelvin, Aya, and Tany from Enterprise – there are definitely also unnamed, and behind the scenes folks as well, who are involved and prepping loads and connecting their neighbours and spotting trash too.
BUT… it ALL comes together when little Shelley arrives and begins the orchestra of cars, trucks, people, and bins for six plus hours. Every volunteer sets into motion lending a hand, loading and unloading, and making the whole operation move forward. I think of Mickey Mouse conducting a series of magical sounds and visuals when I see Shelley work, and, not to diminish anyone else’s efforts (this is just one example of many interactions with all of you this past Saturday), but when you speak with her, you begin to feel the love and generous nature of her character, and it really reflects what kind of energy is needed when something like this event happens. Hey, what can we say? Many great things come in small packages!
Basically though, what we experienced is the coming together of the best of the best. To each of the individuals who came to support, you are all my HEROES, because, quite frankly, I called upon folks who give unconditionally and support the greater good, and you all stepped up and delivered a fantasia of goodness. There is no other way to make the Annual McCauley Clean Up happen. I hope that everybody made some new friends/acquaintances and had a great experience. Thank you for being the greatest!
Taro is the Community Development Officer – E4C, McCauley Apartments Office.