Describe your volunteer activity with San Rafael?
My focus is on the Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park where I pick up trash; remove invasive plants, foxtails, and dead vegetation; repaint the frames of the park signs; and lead clean-up days with other volunteers. The amount of time I work depends on the weather and my other activities, but it probably averages 10 hours a week during spring and summer. I’ve actually been picking up litter and trying to clean up the park for over 20 years, but now, thanks to wonderful City co-ordination and support, not only do I get to call myself a volunteer, but I see the transformation taking place.
Why did you choose to volunteer for San Rafael?
Way back in the 50’s there was a “Don’t Be a Litterbug” campaign. In this small Kansas town, I became aware of the litter in the business district and decided to act upon it. At 6:30 one morning, I got my broom and dust pan and headed for Main Street. When the cars started driving by, I lost my courage, turned around, and went home. It was an opportunity lost, but a childhood lesson that has carried through my adult life. Since then, if I see something that needs to be done, I do it.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer work?
In addition to the obvious satisfaction of seeing an improvement in the park, I’m carrying through with work that was also a passion of my late husband. This has brought me great peace and joy.
What accomplishment are you most proud of as a volunteer? Without a doubt, it’s the effective, smooth-working relationship that has developed between the San Rafael Volunteer Program, Public Works Department, and me. Years ago, I was practically threatened with jail time for doing the same thing!
What other volunteer activities do you do?
I wouldn’t call it a volunteer activity, but I recently attended San Rafael’s Citizen Police Academy. This 10 week course which meets once a week is currently given twice a year. I road in a patrol car, on the patrol boat, sat in with dispatch (911), and learned about all of the different aspects of the police work. It was so fun and great getting to know some of the people in our wonderful Police Department!
What do you suggest to those considering volunteering with the City?
Volunteering is a great way to contribute to your community, meet people, and enjoy the outdoors.
In a few words, describe your volunteer experience.
Dirty and sweaty 🙂