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WeLoveU Volunteers Tackle Philadelphia’s Litter on Summerdale Avenue

WeLoveU Volunteers Tackle Philadelphia’s Litter on Summerdale Avenue

Philly’s Efforts for a Cleaner City

Philadelphia—the city of brotherly love—launched a Zero Waste campaign to study the litter patterns and conditions of the city’s streets, vacant lots, transit stations, and other areas to name a few.

The city published an interactive litter index map online to illustrate neighborhood litter ratings throughout the city. In particular, the Oxford Circle section scored a litter index of four; the survey rating scale measures from one (cleanest) to four (most littered). In order to resolve this, a large cleanup effort is required or the use of heavy machinery to remove debris.

Tackling Litter Together

To help the city fulfill their goal of zero litter, 60 WeLoveU volunteers joined forces to clean the Oxford Circle neighborhood on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Specifically, they planned to clean a two-mile stretch along Summerdale Avenue.

This isn’t the first time volunteers have cleaned Philadelphia either. Recently, volunteers carried out cleanup revitalizing the Tarken ParkRecreation Center and planting wildflowers for cleaner air. These activities were also carried out alongside Pennsylvania State Representative Jared Solomon who supports WeLoveU’s initiatives.

On Sunday morning, volunteers came ready with their brooms, shovels, and trash bags to tackle the task. Their goal was to restore the neighborhood streets by removing all the litter and trash. By doing so, the residents can enjoy a clean and safe area.

During today’s efforts, the WeLoveU volunteers filled 50 trash bags with litter, metal, glass, and other debris from the streets and sidewalks.

Community Support & WeLoveU’s Resolution

Dozens of neighbors came out of their homes to show their appreciation and thank the volunteers. Seeing the teams of WeLoveU volunteers in their signature blue shirts, commuters stopped their cars as they drove by to thank them for their hard work and care.

The WeLoveU Foundation will continue its efforts in Philadelphia to provide a safer and more sustainable environment. By working together with community leaders, WeLoveU hopes to encourage all people of the global village to make united efforts to achieve and maintain a clean environment.

The revitalization efforts are part of a global campaign called the Clean World Movement. WeLoveU launched this initiative and is seen in more than 500 regions worldwide.

Learn more about the Clean WORLD Movement.

Lockport’s South Street Is Spruced up by WeLoveU Volunteers

Lockport’s South Street Is Spruced up by WeLoveU Volunteers

Thirty minutes east from the Niagra Falls is the city of Lockport, New York. It’s named after a set of Erie Canal locks found in the city. Within the friendly community with historic roots are seen volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation. Forty volunteers traveled north from Buffalo, NY to participate in a cleanup on October 7, 2018.

How It All Began

Arriving in Lockport by 10 a.m., they drove to South Street where they stopped in front of an abandoned building. Next door neighbors refer to it as an eyesore because of its unpleasant graffiti on every wall as well as the weeds and dead shrubs that surround it.

Because of their concern, the building was brought up in recent town hall meetings. Residents asked for assistance to clean up the area. However, at the time, resources were limited and coordinating enough volunteers became a challenge. 

When the WeLoveU Foundation heard about their concern, volunteers sprang into action. They saw this as a golden opportunity to bring happiness to the Lockport residents.

With bright smiles and bright blue shirts that read WeLoveU, the volunteers covered the unsightly graffiti with a fresh coat of paint. Another team pulled up the weeds and removed the dead shrubs. They brightened the atmosphere by planting colorful perennial flowers. Also, volunteers picked up trash and litter along the walkways.

A Special Guest From Lockport Council

Among the volunteers came a special guest—Kelly VanDeMark, Lockport’s Alderwoman of the fourth ward. She wore a WeLoveU shirt and helped alongside volunteers. Afterward, she shared a heartfelt message with the group. 

“I’m proud to be an Alderwoman for the fourth ward for the city of Lockport and we’re definitely fortunate to have this organization here today and I’m absolutely amazed by the positivity and sense the of community that I felt in just a short time so thank you again for all your volunteerism and your hard work and I definitely look forward to seeing this spread in our community.”

Ron Tuohey—an Assistant Store Manager at a Lowe’s in Williamsville, NY, who lives on South Street—expressed his appreciation by bringing landscaping materials. He also participated in beautifying the area with the WeLoveU volunteers.

Overall, it was a meaningful event bringing residents, local store managers, and Lockport officials together. Everyone had the same goal in mind: beautify South Street and share neighborly love through volunteerism. The WeLoveU Foundation plans to continue working with the city of Lockport on future projects, including building a playground in the neighborhood.

70 WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Boston’s Back Bay Fens

70 WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Boston’s Back Bay Fens

Inside the Emerald Necklace

The Back Bay Fens, otherwise known as The Fens, is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Fens is one of many parks that form the Emerald Necklace: a 1,100-acre parkland extending from Back Bay through Franklin Park in Dorchester.

Since its establishment in 1879, the park offers an eclectic mix of community gardens, athletic fields, picnic sites, memorials, and historic structures. To further conserve Back Bay Fens, WeLoveU volunteers participated in a cleanup.

Round Three!

It was here that 70 WeLoveU volunteers came together in Boston for their third regional cleanup on August 26, 2018. Volunteers traveled from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and from the local Boston area.

Beginning early in the morning, the group was joined by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, whom they’ve partnered with before on other projects. They supported the WeLoveU volunteers and supplied leaf and trash bags, rakes, trash pickers, and shovels.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The large group divided into four teams to break down the work. One team was responsible for cleaning the benches, another the athletic courts, scoreboard and water gates.

Also, volunteers also stopped by the World War II Memorial, located southwest of the park, and cleaned for an hour. During that time, volunteers picked up dead branches, debris, waste, and raked leaves. By noon, volunteers returned to the meeting area with a total of 75 bags—estimating 750 pounds.

During the cleanup, people visiting the park noticed the volunteers and thanked them for keeping the park nice and clean.

A Boston resident said, “You’re awesome. I am a neighbor; I live across the street. I walk these parks every day and just really appreciate you all being out here. This really makes a huge difference. Thank you very much.”

In addition to cleaning, a WeLoveU information tent was set up near the basketball courts by Jersey Street. Panels depicting how WeLoveU’s activities align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals were also on display.

While wrapping up the day’s activities, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department expressed their gratitude to the volunteers. In return, the department received an enthusiastic “We love you!” cheer from the volunteers.

Through this cleanup, volunteers hope to continue sharing their care and support for the neighborhood. Their goal of making a difference and promote cleanliness was accomplished through the unity of the volunteers.

Planting Trees to Develop Gainesville’s Community Garden

Planting Trees to Develop Gainesville’s Community Garden

Around thirty volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation in Central Florida partnered with Keep Alachua County Beautiful for a  tree planting project in Gainesville, Florida on Sunday, August 19, 2018.

Planting trees reduce air pollution by filtering dust and pollutants from the air we breathe. Additionally, volunteers are planting trees to develop Greater Duval Neighborhood Association Community Garden. The garden was founded for local citizens to take advantage of the natural resources grown within.

WeLoveU volunteers traveled from numerous towns and cities in Florida. They traveled from Leesburg, Orlando, Winter Park, Kissimmee, and Daytona Beach to participate in the tree planting volunteer service.

Despite their long journey, traveling two and a half hours, volunteers were excited. For many of them, it was their first time participating in a tree planting project. Before hitting the ground, all the volunteers gathered for an opening picture in their bright blue WeLoveU polo shirts.

Meeting the Experts

Shirley McNish, Treasurer of the Greater Duval Neighborhood Association and Coordinator of the Community Garden, also participated. She was working alongside volunteers providing careful instructions. She mentioned that she has been waiting three years to plant this community garden, but not many working hands have been available. She expressed her gladness and thankfulness to the WeLoveU volunteers for joining today to expand the garden.

Andrew Ingram, the Project Coordinator from Keep Alachua County Beautiful, also came and brought tools such as shovels and gloves for the volunteers to carry out the work. The trees were also donated with the help of several organizations in the city of Gainesville.

Planting Trees for Clean Air

After receiving gardening instructions from Shirley, an experienced gardener herself, the volunteers promptly began transporting each tree to its new home. In groups of three, they aligned beside each other and started digging. Mustering all of their strength, they struck the ground with shovels to create a resting place for each tree.

After the holes were deep and wide enough, they planted the trees, filling each trench with water followed by soil. Drops of sweat fell from their suntanned foreheads, but they did not stop until they accomplished their tasks. In only two hours, the volunteers planted 13 saplings; among the trees were apple, plum, pecan, fig, and crepe myrtle trees.

A WeLoveU volunteer from Winter Park said, “This was a really amazing experience to come out here today in Gainesville to actually plant trees. Trees are very necessary for life because we need oxygen that comes from trees for us to live. So this opportunity was amazing for us because we can also beautify this area in Gainesville.”

Around 12:30 p.m., the volunteers wrapped up. Also, Keep Alachua County Beautiful prepared lunch for the group. Afterward, they came together for one last group picture with the coordinators.

Concluding Remarks From the Coordinators

McNish expressed her happiness saying, “To all of the volunteers and WeLoveU, I encourage you all to just keep doing what you are doing. There are many people like the Greater Duval Community who need your help and they are waiting for it. You reached out to me, I did not know anything about you and I am in love with you all. Thank you, I appreciate you all.”

Ingram also shared words with the volunteers saying, “This community garden is a great thing; locals have been asking for it. The WeLoveU Foundation does great work, and this tree planting is just a little sample of what they do. The message they deliver through what they do cannot really get much better than that.  You cannot beat that!”

Responding to their kind words, volunteers chanted “We love you!” and headed back to their respective homes.

WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Philadelphia’s McVeigh Recreation Center

WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Philadelphia’s McVeigh Recreation Center

WeLoveU volunteers cleaned the McVeigh Recreation Center to make a pleasant and bright environment for their neighbors.

In the Suburbs of Philadelphia

The summer heat couldn’t stop 70 WeLoveU volunteers from traveling to the McVeigh Recreation Center for a cleanup on August 12, 2018. The center hosts after-school activities like arts and crafts, and outdoor activities. WeLoveU volunteers found it important to clean this space because it’s frequently used by children. The day’s agenda included collecting trash and removing graffiti around the building.

Graffiti’s Footprint on Society 

In Philadelphia, the spring and summer season report an influx in graffiti. In 1984, the city’s former mayor established an Anti-Graffiti Network to combat the spread of graffiti. It dampens the city’s reputation when it’s seen on businesses, parks, and schools. Environmentally speaking, graffiti is also toxic and emits fumes into the air, which promotes global warming.

By participating in this cleanup, WeLoveU is improving the center’s safety by removing graffiti and litter. This revitalization project serves to fulfill the organization’s Clean World Movement. It’s an environmental campaign aiming to provide a clean world not only for this generation but future generations.

Volunteers Working Together

Prepared and ready to go, volunteers brought with them shovels, trash bags, and supplies for removing graffiti. To tackle the big work ahead, volunteers split up into teams. One team removed the graffiti along the recreation center’s walls. 

Meanwhile, another team pulled up weeds and picked up the trash surrounding the playground and baseball field. Volunteers collected 35 bags of trash including metal, broken glass, and wrappers. 

The day isn’t complete without meeting the community members whom WeLoveU is directly impacting. Neighbors stepped out of their homes and spoke with some volunteers. They began thanking the volunteers after learning about WeLoveU and the motivation to clean the McVeigh Recreation Center. The volunteers certainly grabbed the attention of drivers with their signature blue shirts.

The WeLoveU Foundation will continue its efforts in Philadelphia to provide and maintain a clean and safe environment, inviting the community to participate in this global movement. Click here to read about other activities WeLoveU volunteers carried out in Philadelphia. 

WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Key Biscayne’s 70-Year-old Beach Park

WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Key Biscayne’s 70-Year-old Beach Park

A Historic Beach Welcomes WeLoveU

A barrier island across the Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami is Key Biscayne. It is there where 35 volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation met on Sunday, July 15, 2018, for a cleanup.

While most people may have just begun their day, WeLoveU volunteers met early in the morning at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. Fully supporting WeLoveU’s efforts, the park provided the necessary materials needed for the cleanup. Their goal was to completely remove trash that’s around the park and floating along the shoreline. Volunteers quickly got to work without wasting any time.

Within two and a half hours, volunteers cleaned a three-mile stretch by the beach’s shoreline and in the park. They removed garbage such as cardboard boxes, cans, and bottles. During the cleanup, volunteers received words of appreciation from the community. They spent a good amount of time beautifying the park. By noon, they had collected more than 20 bags of trash. Many people walking by, enjoying their Sunday at the beach, took notice of the volunteer’s efforts. They gave their thanks and cheered them on.

“W” Stands for Water

WeLoveU’s partnership with the Historic Virginia Key Beach works toward fulfilling the foundation’s Clean World Movement. It’s a worldwide initiative to provide a clean and safe environment for people across the globe in the face of climate change.

The word “World” is an acronym that stands for Water, Oxygen, Region, Life, and Descendants. Through this cleanup, volunteers focus on cleaning around the beach to improve water quality, enhance ecosystem resilience and ease droughts.

It’s important to encourage these type of activities as it’s all connected to the world’s climate. The Clean World Movement is in place to organize cleanups whether big or small because it impacts not only this generation but also future generations.

This beach cleanup, for instance, seems relatively small compared to the global issue of pollution, but it’s working towards helping the overall condition. Every cleanup counts when it comes to our environment and community.

Closing Remarks

After the event, volunteers began sharing with one another how they felt about the day’s activities. One volunteer mentioned, “I love to participate in events like these because it makes a difference in the environment. Many people don’t realize how much trash piles up until we stop and look at it. I want to inspire others to help not only their communities but the world so it can be restored to its original beauty.”

WeLoveU volunteers yearn to accomplish the foundation’s initiatives and deliver the message which the Chairwoman has set forth which is sharing a mother’s love with all people through volunteerism. To this end, WeLoveU volunteers in Miami aspire to continue helping neighbors and communities to make the world a better place.

Leominster Receives Double Dose of WeLoveU Volunteer Service

Leominster Receives Double Dose of WeLoveU Volunteer Service

Leominster: Round Two

Last week, volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation kicked-off July by beautifying Leominster’s Fournier Park. Now, they’re back, but this time to carry out a street cleanup near city hall. It was on Sunday, July 8, 2018, that about 25 volunteers gathered together for this community service.

Leominster City Hall supports the group’s effort by providing them with trash bags and gloves. The volunteers began cleaning on West Street and made their way east towards Central Street and Lancaster Street. Central Street and Lancaster Street are more residential areas versus West Street which is more commercialized.

Meeting the Neighbors

The volunteers branched out into both residential streets. While doing so, they had a chance to meet those who live along those roads. The participants received many thankful remarks from the local residents.

Their bright smiles and blue shirts caught the eyes of all who passed by. Car honks were heard throughout the cleanup along with residents encouraging and acknowledging the volunteer’s care and conscientious attitudes.

For one mile, and in the hot summer weather, volunteers picked up garbage, dead branches, and debris. In the end, a total of about 50 pounds of waste was gathered.

Feel Good Moments

“It feels good when you do something for the community and even to be of some help in the world. Even to work as a team felt good. I feel like through this cleanup we are able to encourage the community and show love to them, especially with what is happening in this world now,” a new volunteer of the organization said.

The cleanup started and concluded with cheering and laughter from the volunteers. The WeLoveU Foundation strives to share love through community service and create a safe and clean environment for all. The volunteers are looking forward to more community services, eager to serve their neighbors and raise awareness of the importance of having a Clean World.

Fournier Park Summer Cleanup

Fournier Park Summer Cleanup

On the first day of July and the hottest of the summer thus far, volunteers from the International WeLoveU Foundation came out to Fournier Park. The park located in Leominster, Massachusetts is a popular site in the summertime attracting children and parents for its splash pad and playgrounds.

About 45 volunteers met in Fournier Park with a target to beautify the park’s entrance. Leominster’s Recreational Director, Judith Sumner, guided volunteers providing them with tools, water, and snacks.

A Quick Touch-Up

Numerous weeds and trash have taken over the entrance that it even blocked visitors sight of the parks’ sign.  The first order of business was to remove the weeds and spray herbicide to prevent them from growing back.

Volunteers then spread mulch and planted flowers to embellish the entrance. Mulch is spread over the surface of the soil to protect it. It also helps retain moisture in the soil, subdues weeds, keeps the soil cool, and makes spruces up the parks’ appearance. Fresh mulch was also laid outside the baseball field and around the playground. An average of 4,800 pounds of mulch was spread throughout the park.

Mayor Mazzarella Supports WeLoveU

Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella also joined the volunteers.

“I’ve been [a] mayor for 25 years. If you were just around, my life would be a lot easier,” he stated, thanking the volunteers for their unyielding efforts.

Mayor Mazzarella is an avid supporter of the WeLoveU foundation and has joined volunteers in earlier community service activities. Just last week he invited volunteers to appear on his community TV show to speak more about the organization and its latest projects.

The one-hundred-degree weather could not stop or delay the volunteers from working. Residents in the neighborhood took notice and thanked them as well for their efforts. Many mentioned that the park was due for a cleanup and some care.

Results & Future Plans

By noon and three hours of work later, Fournier Park looked refreshed. The parks’ entrance, playground, and baseball field all appeared more welcoming and ready for use.

Volunteers filled 30 bags of trash. They concluded the community service with their signature, “We love you!” cheer, giving a farewell to the mayor and recreational director.

With a united mind to show the love of a mother to their communities and neighbors, volunteers are scheduled to return to Leominster for a street cleanup next week.

Tradewinds Park and Stables Receive a WeLoveU Makeover After Hurricane Irma

Tradewinds Park and Stables Receive a WeLoveU Makeover After Hurricane Irma

Restoring Battered Pavilions After Hurricane Irma

Florida suffered extensive damage when Hurricane Irma rocked the state back on September 10, 2017. Nine months after the storm, Florida’s landscape improved all the more after rebuilding efforts ensued.

One park in particular—Tradewinds Park and Stables—in Coconut Creek, Florida still needed some TLC. It is one of Broward County’s largest and most diverse parks. With their many activities, WeLoveU organized to restore and clean the park to its original beauty on June 24, 2018.

Tradewinds Park & Stable’s New Look

The park needed a fresh coat of paint along with leaf-raking and trash disposal. In preparation for the activity, volunteers packed paint brushes, gloves, and trash bags. Once they arrived at the cleaning site, they divided into smaller groups to accomplish the work as quickly as possible.

Many painted the structures that remained standing after the harsh hurricane. More than five gallons of paint were used on one pavilion alone. Meanwhile, the rest of the volunteers picked up leaves and trash scattered throughout the park. By working together, they cleaned the park up in no time.

As volunteers continued working despite the summer heat, one thing was made apparent about them: their smiles! You can feel their happiness participating in the volunteer service in Tradewinds Park and Stable. Park visitors definitely took notice of their positive energy, too.

The Big Picture

By the end of the event, the volunteers took a group photo together in front of the Tradewinds Park and Stable sign.

Partaking in this cleanup taught the volunteers much more than what meets the eye. They left the park understanding a little more about why it’s important to organize and participate in community services. By doing so, they have the potential to kick-start a string of cleanups that better the environment.

WeLoveU believes that one person can spark change, but it cannot be done alone; it’s a group effort! Currently, volunteers in 67 countries in the world are actively preserving the environment through cleanups every year and in some areas—monthly.

WeLoveU Cleans Sendler Education Outpost in Florida’s Wildlife Refuge

WeLoveU Cleans Sendler Education Outpost in Florida’s Wildlife Refuge

Protecting the Wildlife’s Habitat

The WeLoveU Foundation partnered with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida. Around 500 species of wildlife call the National Wildlife Refuge their home. Within the refuge is the Sendler Education Outpost—a pavilion-style structure—which hosts environmental education activities and programs year-round.

More than 40 volunteers went to the outpost for a cleanup on June 17, 2018. The goal behind it is to create a cleaner and safer environment for the hundreds and thousands of students who frequently visit on field trips and the wildlife that inhabits the refuge.

This effort is part of WeLoveU’s Clean World Movement to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection in the face of climate change.

Getting an Early Start

The group of volunteers met at the gazebo in the Sendler Education Outpost around 9 in the morning. For some, this meant their first time participating in a cleanup. By 11 a.m., National Wildlife Refuge volunteer coordinators, Emily and David, began by introducing themselves and welcoming the volunteers. Before the cleanup even began, they presented WeLoveU with a Certificate of Appreciation.

In addition, the coordinators explained where volunteers can start from and provided equipment. Tools used to carry out tasks carefully included gloves, garden loppers, and rakes.

Working Together in Sendler Education Outpost

For three hours, they worked in small groups; each person with a different role. While some removed weeds entangled on trees, others cut thick palm leaves and tall grass with loppers. Another group grouped the debris into piles and others loaded them onto the Wildlife Refuge pickup trucks. From there, the trash was disposed in designated locations outside the outpost.

Despite the strong heat of the day, everyone worked hard without showing signs of slowing down until the job was completed. At the end of the cleanup, the volunteers double-checked to make sure all the trash was collected and all supplies were returned. The 40 volunteers successfully cleaned five acres of land and collected nearly 10,000 pounds of vegetation.

By the early afternoon, the group returned to the gazebo. The Merritt Island National Refuge awarded each volunteer with a free beach pass to the Canaveral National Seashore and a special sticker. The volunteers responded cheerfully, chanting their signature “We love you!” greeting to the Wildlife Refuge workers.

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