World Cleanup Day is held on the third Saturday in September. It is an annual global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris. It is coordinated by the global organization Let’s Do It! World, headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. 

This year for the first time, members of the Gallaudet community participated in World Cleanup Day. Thinaja Nadarajah Israel, ’16, Student Engagement Coordinator with the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership (SEL) and student staff member Kevin Danielson coordinated registration, volunteer shirts, lunch, and other logistics, including working with Campus Design and Facilities to make this event happen. 

Eric Kaika, ’00,
Landscaping and Grounds Manager with Campus Design and Facilities, led nearly 50 students as they cleared the campus of trash and rain debris and trimmed natural vegetation across the campus. According to Kaika, they worked primarily in the historic district, Hanson Plaza, and the athletic fields. They also cleared invasive ivy at College Hall, the Edward Miner Gallaudet Residence, and Peikoff Alumni House. “It feels good to do good,” said one of the student volunteers. 

Kaika wrote, “
This collective effort showcased the indomitable spirit and commitment of Gallaudet’s student body to create a cleaner, greener world. With enthusiasm and purpose, they worked tirelessly to make a tangible impact in our local community. This partnership with Student Engagement and Leadership not only exemplifies the university’s dedication to sustainability but also stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the collective strength of our Gallaudet family. Kudos to everyone involved for their unwavering dedication to making the world a better place for all.”

Seventy-one million volunteers from 197 countries and territories participated in this year’s World Cleanup Day. They cleared a total of 325 kilotons of waste.  

Learn more about World Cleanup Day at their website. 

Student Engagement and Leadership offers community service opportunities several times each month. Nadarajah Israel coordinates nearly all volunteer efforts, and this year started with New Student Orientation participants making blankets for cats and dogs in a local pet shelter. She and her team also organized volunteers for the Susan G. Komen DMV Tri-State More Than Pink Walk for breast cancer research on September 10. For more information and upcoming volunteer opportunities, follow Student Engagement and Leadership on Instagram at @GallaudetU.CampusLife.

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