Volunteers Bring Out the Best in Our Community

By Coral Springs Commissioner Roy Gold

As an active resident of my City of Coral Springs and a member of the Sustainability Committee of the Broward League of Cities, I continually see first-hand the positive impact volunteering has on our community and its residents. There are countless opportunities for each of us to find the causes we care most about, apply our particular talents and do our part to make Broward County a better place today and in the future. The first steps are simply determining what is most important to us and identifying how we can help.

April, designated as Earth Month, reminds us to preserve our precious natural resources for generations to come. Few initiatives have greater bearing on our community than assuring the health of our waterways. For 15 years, I have volunteered my time as one of 25 site leaders for the Marine Industry Association of South Florida’s Annual Broward Waterway Cleanup. In March, more than 1,800 volunteers arrived by land and sea at locations throughout Broward County to help clean our canals, rivers, Intracoastal and coastline.

I had the pleasure of leading 522 volunteers from all walks of life, from Girls Scouts to local firefighters, who braved the cold weather to support the countywide initiative. Various companies did their part as well, from Whole Foods Market offering granola bars to Lowe’s Home Improvement providing the wooden sticks for trash pick up. Working together, we removed 15 tons of trash from our waterways, ranging in size from gum wrappers to shopping carts.

The positive impact we had on our waterways was outstanding, but the warm sense of community created by working side-by-side for a common cause was equally as great.

Since my first year leading 90 volunteers, I have witnessed growing support every year from increasing numbers of residents. Through word-of-mouth and the hard work of my team of coordinators, we have generated a groundswell of volunteerism in Coral Springs. This shared commitment bodes well for our city’s future.

If all of us take the first step toward volunteering for causes we care about, we’re well on our way toward preserving our environment and the unique lifestyle that makes South Florida a great place to live, work and raise a family. For more information on volunteering opportunities throughout Broward County, please visit www.BrowardLeague.org.

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Roy Gold is a Commissioner for Coral Springs and a member of the Sustainability Committee for the Broward League of Cities.