This past Saturday, 15 Vanguardians laced up their boots once again to aid in the ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief effort, tasked with cleaning up the shoreline at Little Bay Park in Bayside, Queens. They were joined by 4,000 other volunteers around New York City, joined together for New York Cares Day, an annual volunteer and fundraising effort dedicating to cleaning up parks across New York City in preparation for summer.
In early spring of each year, approximately 4,000 volunteers spread out to the corners of the five boroughs to clean up 70 different parks around the city. They spend the day raking, painting, and planting to make these spaces a desirable destination for the summer. This year was especially important as many of these locations were destroyed in Hurricane Sandy’s wake.
Little Bay Park is a small beach situated directly underneath the The Throgs Neck Bridge, which connects Queens to the Bronx. Vanguardians arrived bright and early, ready to pick up the rakes and trash bags and get started. The beach was divided by a line of rocks with debris caught in front, behind, and on top of them. Within the first hour of working, over 20 bags full of trash were pulled off the beach. As the day progressed, the tide went out farther allowing for more access to the water line. As a result, we were able to dig up larger debris such as a skid and numerous tires that were buried deep in the wet sand.
Despite the fatigue and perhaps a smidge of windburn, everyone enjoyed getting out for a few hours and participating in this cleanup effort. Sarah Bishow-Semevolos from New York Cares told our own CEO, Bob O’Connell “I really like the dynamic of your company, you can see that its family oriented.” This just goes to show that a few hours of time can go a long way, and create a fun team effort all the while. New York Cares is open for volunteering opportunities all year round, and can be viewed http://www.newyorkcares.org/volunteer/.
More pictures of the adventure can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/VanguardDirect.
Author: Natacha Arora