Keep America Beautiful

Gulfport GAC volunteers

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR OWN GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP

Great American Cleanup events take place in communities across America. Get involved through your local participating organizations or Keep America Beautiful affiliates. If there isn’t something happening in your area, you can even hold your own event!

 

Organizing Your Own Event

The Great American Cleanup offers volunteer opportunities for concerned individuals, schools, community or church groups, or even local businesses to take control of their local environment, take action, and get involved. If you don’t have a local KAB affiliate or participating organization near you, here are a few steps to help you get started with your own activity or event.

 

Create a Steering Committee

Organize a cleanup committee by seeking out a few people who share your passion for the cause. Set a meeting date and let the ideas flow. Decide which project your group wants to tackle, and define responsibilities.

 

Set a Date

Set dates for your activities. Saturday mornings are often best, with an alternate rain date scheduled for the following weekend. Make sure your event doesn’t conflict with other major happenings or events in the community, especially ones that involve volunteers.

 

Tell Us What You’re Doing

To register your event, email gac@kab.org and tell us your plans. Event registrants can access an online Program Kit with lots of useful resources and tips, marketing materials and more. You may be eligible for receiving other in-kind support as well.

 

Engage Local Government

Contact your local sanitation or public works department. They can advise you on the special trash bags or receptacles you may need, provide hauling services for bulk items or from illegal dump sites, and any other special requirements. And be sure to speak with your elected leaders about your plans—they can be great allies.

Enlist the Local Business Community

Turn to local business owners and your local chamber of commerce to support your efforts. Ask them to donate supplies, tools or refreshments, and to help you promote the event to their employees, members or customers.

 

Outreach and Promotion

Reach out to potential allies like scout troops, environmental clubs, church groups and other community organizations, and enlist their help. Use Great American Cleanup promotional tools like posters, banners and press releases to promote your event. Contact local media and make them aware of your plans.

 

Prepare Your Volunteers

Make a checklist of the equipment you will need, permits and permissions required, and other important concerns. Make sure your volunteers know what equipment to bring, and encourage them to be prepared for the weather conditions by bringing sunscreen, hydration and the appropriate clothing for your project.

 

Don’t Forget to Say “Thank You”

Celebrate your achievements and say “thanks” to your volunteers and partners for a job well done. Consider hosting a picnic or “thank you” celebration after your activities are completed, and include local officials and others who helped you along the way.