By: Josh Trangle, Work and Travel Employer Services Coordinator

The volunteer group in action! Ambassador Scholar, Jesse Richards (in the middle), organized this project.

The volunteer group in action! Ambassador Scholar, Jesse Richards (in the middle), organized this project.

On August 19th, CCI Greenheart had the privilege of visiting beautiful Old Orchard Beach, Maine to meet with local employers and participants in the area for the Going Greenheart Tour. Jesse Richards, one of CCI Greenheart’s Ambassador Scholars, took the lead in organizing a beach cleanup volunteer event.

About a week prior, a large storm swept up considerable debris that was damaging the locally protected ecosystem of the Piping Plover, a beloved bird that is common in Maine. A nice mix of participants, employers, and community organizers took time off of their busy schedules to volunteer and help clean the beach and surrounding area. Through teamwork and a little bit of elbow grease, our group of about 15 volunteers were able to clean a considerable stretch of the beach, several streets, and a local park! Countries that were represented included the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Jordan, and Poland. Throughout the day, the volunteers took the opportunity to get to know one another and learn about each other. Many recounted stories of volunteering they do in their own home countries, which ranged from big brother programs and environmental activism to organizing volleyball teams for under-privileged youth and supplying medicine to needy children.

The event was a major success, and it was wonderful to see the initiative and drive of these wonderful J-1 participants. Just check out the fun selfie below!

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Participant, Antonio from the Dominican Republic; CCI Greenheart staff member, Ben Baney; and employer, Ben Santos-Rogers from Funtown Splashtown