As a former Clean Sweep and Lady Bird Lake Leader, April was one of my favorite times of year. I would lament when I missed a cleanup at my site, mostly because I would miss meeting all the wonderful people who came out to help. While it has been a number of years since I proudly donned my Clean Sweep shirt as a leader, I’d like to share what my experience was like in hopes of inspiring others to wear the t-shirt of honor for 2017.
The word ‘leader’ can sometimes be a little intimidating. Do I have to speak in front of a large crowd? What questions will people ask—and what if I don’t know the answers? What is expected of me to make sure volunteers have the best experience ever?
The beauty of being a Site Leader for Clean Sweep is you can pick your location and how many people you want to lead. You are in charge! If you have a local street, park, or creek that you know could use a little love, it’s easy to sign up. (Map of current locations) Whether it’s leading group of 10 or 100-- it’s really simple. Here are a few ways to make the experience even more memorable for your volunteers:
1. Have fun! If you are having fun, others will too. When people show up, greet them enthusiastically and let them know you will be waiting for most of the group to arrive to go over some safety information. Encourage them to hang out and meet their fellow volunteers. You can also hand over the sweet swag we have packed for your site.
2. Be clear with your instructions. In your emails beforehand, let people know where to meet up. Once on site, tell them where they should cleanup, where and how to avoid hazards, and to keep an eye out for unique items to win a fantastic prize!
3. Join in, but be available. As a Site Leader, I would pick up micro trash in the immediate areas around the huddle point-- you wouldn’t believe how much you can find. This way, people know where you are and you can still answer questions, but you also can help make an impact on those trash numbers.
4. Remind people about the party, and say thanks. The party at Huston-Tillotson will be a blast. With free lunch, music from The Gin Racers, rock walls, and other goodies, it’s going to be a great time for everyone. There will be a flyer in every site package with more information. Keep Austin Beautiful is so appreciative of our volunteers, and the party is our favorite way to celebrate you.
5. Stay involved! Make sure to sign up for our eNews list to keep up with ongoing opportunities to volunteer. The more you learn about in projects in Austin, in your neighborhood, and in your community, the more you can contribute to making our city even more beautiful.
Site Leader registration closes on Friday, March 17th so register your location ASAP! Also make sure to sign up for the Site Leader training to really master your skills and meet fellow leaders. Have questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Clean Sweep page.
We can’t wait to have you join the illustrious ranks of the Clean Sweep Site Leader!