Saturday we participated in Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day program. Basically you sign up to do some volunteer time and in exchange you get a free ticket to any of the Disney theme parks.
I chose the City of Cocoa's Trash Bash 2010. I chose it for several reasons. Being honest, the first reason I chose it was so we could go to Disney for free. I mean, who wouldn't want to do that. Secondly, there are age restrictions on most of the volunteer options and this was one that the whole family could do together.
Lastly, I though it would be a great learning opportunity for the kids. I was right about that last part except I think it benefited all of us. Basically we were assigned an area in Cocoa and we picked up the trash along the road. Can I tell you I will never (or at least for a very long time) be able to drive down a road and not notice the amount of trash or lack thereof.
We were each given two 32 gallon trash bags to fill ~ along with latex gloves and bright orange vests. I didn't think to take pics during our trash pick up but here is Rich and the kids when we arrived back at the park
Anyway, we managed to fill our 8 trash bags in just over an hour. I'm just amazed at what we found. I guess the most unexpected were tons of (used) rub off lottery tickets. The most expected and disgusting was the THOUSANDS of cigarette butts. My kids are really good about not littering but I think it was a real eye opener to see how many people do litter.
While it was warm out, it wasn't sweltering so we were okay. They also gave out bottles of water to take with us. I think the most rewarding ~ but also the most somber was cleaning up a small roadside cemetery.
Anyhow.. after we were done we headed back to the park, which was our starting place. It's a beautiful park right on the water.
They also served lunch ~ grilled hot dogs, chips, moon pie's and drinks. There was a live band that didn't quite suck ~ but came close. We found a bench in the shade and enjoyed just being outside, by the water, and all together, knowing we had done a good thing. I do think we'll volunteer again (no Disney tickets next time) but be a little more prepared. While we picked up trash by hand this time, I'd rather have one of those pointy stick things next time so we all don't end up with broken backs and I'd bring my own thick gardeners gloves cause the latex one broke rather quickly and made your hands really sweaty.
Just a couple of other pics from the morning. Graffiti on one of the posts. Fans of "How I Met Your Mother" will definitely get this. If not, you really can't call yourself a fan! If you haven't watched this show, you really should. Very well written and I love the whole cast. My family's favorite character is definitely Barney. He's a real "man whore." The fact that in real life, he's actually gay is really amusing cause he plays this part so unbelievably well.
Julianne is such a huge Neil Patrick Harris fan that we had to rent some of the "Doogie Houser" videos.
This one Richard took with his iPhone. I think it is amazing. He has a great eye for these things.
Overall a great experience. Next stop of the day was soccer but that's another post for another day!