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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Hideaway Bay Beach Club, Little Gasparilla Island, Florida, USA

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Hideaway Bay Beach Club, Little Gasparilla Island, Florida, USA
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AMK1993



Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Rotonda West
Posts: 1
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My community service activity is a recycling project that I established on an island that did not have any recycling programs. I first created the project with three plastic bins for aluminum cans. Eventually the project expanded to 15 homemade bins all over the island, with the help of a Profit for the Planet Grant. I take the aluminum cans to the recycling center where they are recycled for money. I have recycled over 2400 pounds of aluminum cans, which has totaled in over 1600 dollars and the project is still continuing. I have donated the money to schools within Charlotte County. The money has gone to the Model United Nations Program and Spanish Club at Lemon Bay High school and to Myakka River Elementary School.


I became involved because of the Model United Nations Club at my school. This Club requires a high budget because competitions normally last many days, and most of the money came from the school so students wouldn't have to pay. The school board cut the funding in the middle of the year, and we needed fundraising ideas and I started the project and I single handedly began raising money for the club. I collected cans, took them to the recycling center, and organized every facet of the project.


My project has been built around helping others; when the project first started it was used to earn money for the Model United Nations Club. The club lost funding and the purpose of my project was to assure that all members could participate no matter their financial situation. When the club finally dissolved, I came up with the idea to donate the money to Myakka River Elementary School so school supplies could be purchased for the children who couldn’t afford them due to the current economic situation.


Throughout my high school career I have had such as strong passion for helping people, within and outside my community. I first developed the project, back when the Model United Nations club first lost its funding due to the economy. Competitions cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, and many cannot afford to even pay for just meals. The money for the Model United Nations went towards the funds for competitions, and that is when I began to collect aluminum cans off of Hideaway Bay Beach Club. The program began with a few recycling bins on Hideaway Bay Beach Club, with a goal that was focused on the Model United Nations Club. I applied for and received a Profit for the Planet Grant, where I then began building my own bins. When Model United Nations dissolved as a result of complications I then decided to then donate the money to the Spanish Club. The money then went towards purchasing gift cards for the orphans in Immokalee, so they can purchase items for themselves or others for the holidays. As time progressed I thought about donating the money to one of the local elementary schools. In my county alone there are title one schools, which means there are a lot of children who need assistance due to the fact that they do not have any funds. As a result many of these children cannot afford to purchase school supplies, and as a result, the money went specifically towards the specific account which is used to purchase school supply items for the children who need it the most. Since I am still actively collecting I plan to pursue this donation system further through their holiday program where the school purchases a gift for each child who attends. So that every child in turn receives a gift during the holidays. It brought me so much joy when I saw the guidance counselor and the principal’s eyes flood with emotion. During this experience I was truly happy that I made an impact on many peoples' lives. This joy and these life changing experiences have made me want to pursue making lives better for countless people. Ultimately my parents since the beginning have always taught both my sister and me to give back and when I see people who need help I immediately want to step in to do anything I can to make a difference.


My project takes place on a section of the Little Gasparilla Island. On the island, I have set three plastic bins by the docks along with a home crafted bin (wire fencing and wood with trellis) at each unit. Every Sunday I go to the island and I collect the aluminum from each and every bin. I take the cans out of the bins with the assistance of my mom, and then we put them in black garbage bags so they can be easily taken to the recycling center. The average is about two or three large black trash bags per visit, but the amount can be more or less depending on the season. Then normally once every couple of weeks we take the bags to our local recycling center. My collection schedule varies from week to week since my neighbors and friends save their cans so they can be recycled with the ones that were collected off the island. Once we arrive at the recycling center the cans are weighed and we collect the money. This process has become a part of our daily lives. I established this project alone and eventually recruited some members of the Model United Nations Club to assist me in the collection process. After a couple of weeks the numbers of people assisting began to dwindle to zero. The only assistance I received was a profit for the planet grant, and as a result I could expand my project even further. The most difficult aspect of my project is definitely making sure I have time to continue it while juggling the amount of my advanced placement and dual enrollment class work plus extracurricular activity involvement.


Throughout my project countless people benefited. The environment first of all benefited because I began a recycling project on an island where recycling was originally not an option. Vacationers to the island, homeowners, and the tenants now have a way to recycle all of their aluminum products without worrying about the environment. They simply have to deposit their cans in a bin and I take care of the rest. Neighbors and friends, who normally do not recycle, also donated their aluminum and are continuously donating their aluminum to assist in the cause to help the environment and the children. I helped every one of the members in the Model United Nations Club, by earning money so none of them had to pay a dime to participate in club competitions. When the money went to Immokalee the orphans were able to purchase gifts for themselves and others. Then on top of this when I gave to Myakka River Elementary School, I assisted even more people. I helped the school itself by providing them with the funds necessary to purchase school supplies for the children who need the money the most. This facet of my project helped their parents as well by removing the burden of trying to purchase school supplies for their children while struggling to literally put food on the table. So overall from one project helped over one hundred children and their families. My project will most definitely continue in the future. I will be leaving for college next year but I will return as often as I can to help with the aluminum can collection and recycling. My younger sister also plans to take over my project when I am away at school. Thus, the legacy of helping others will continue with her. In this way, dozens more families will feel the positive effects of single idea put into action.


From this experience I learned that even a small action can affect hundreds of people, one project that began with three bins is now providing money for countless children to purchase school supplies. A project that first started as an idea now helps hundreds of people. The most memorable part of the whole process was when I actually gave the money to the sponsors. When I gave the money for the orphans to my Spanish teachers, her eyes filled with tears because she was so happy knowing that someone was doing good simply as a way to ease the burden of the less fortunate. Also when I gave the money to the guidance counselor and principal of Myakka River Elementary the same thing occurred, their eyes filled with so much emotion I wanted to cry because I was just so happy that I could help. When I left I was smiling, not the posed smiles that one flashes for pictures, but that true sense of happiness that anyone can recognize from your face even if they are a mile away. That would be the one thing that I would tell others. By doing something for others you realize something about yourself. True happiness can only come from helping the people who need it most.
· Date: December 18, 2010 · Views: 6595 · File size: 31.4kb, 385.2kb · : 800 x 533 ·
Hours Volunteered: 297
Volunteers: 4
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 14 to 47
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 7.2
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 1080
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