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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Memorial High School, McAllen, Texas, USA

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Memorial High School, McAllen, Texas, USA
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Registered: December 2014
City/Town/Province: McAllen
Posts: 1
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I live in Hidalgo county. It is the poorest county in Texas with an average income of under $10,000. A large part of this poverty comes as a result of our proximity to Mexico; more and more seek refuge here as the drug wars wage on. The living standards that many face here are both disheartening and cruel. But what does all this have to do with the environment?

See, I'm an avid reader, and I also care about my community. Already a volunteer at my high school's library, I wanted to do something that would not only benefit the community but impact it for generations to come. So I organized a book drive.

With the aid of my high school librarian and a friend, we didn't simply want to settle for a typical book drive. This would be the greatest book drive any high school had ever seen. We created, posters, fliers, and even announced it on the intercom. Thanks to the help of a teacher, we were even able to give kids incentives to donate like bonus points or volunteer hours. But this book drive wasn't just about giving back to the less fortunate. This book drive largely emphasized the importance of recycling and its impact on the environment. We wanted to really get the message across that there's a real price behind printed books.

Our slogan became "Help heal the environment, help give the gift of knowledge". And this we did. Considering the circumstances many of my peers faced, the response was fantastic. An ongoing process, we collected over 75 books in the first week alone. These books will then be donated to a local charity that will deliver them accordingly to kids and adults in need. And the best part? The librarians have agreed to make this an annual book drive, creating a home for old books and preventing our community's part in the mindless purchasing of paper.

It's kind of scary, really, now that I think about how much we don't think about the environment. Many of the resources we have people simply take for granted. They don't truly think about where that piece of paper came from or how that pencil was produced. Creating the book drive not only helped the less fortunate educate themselves, but it informed many people about the harm being done to our environment with mass paper production. I learned a few things too, including how paper is actually made and how a small idea can go a long way.
Date: December 30, 2014 Views: 4934 File size: 15.2kb, 84.2kb : 720 x 960
Hours Volunteered: 15
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17
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