By: Tanya Gray, Keep Temple Beautiful - Temple Chamber of Commerce March 2019 Focus on Business
Each year, Keep Temple Beautiful brings together numerous local organizations and individuals to invest their time in creating a better community. The results from events like the Great American Cleanup, Community-wide cleanups, tree plantings, Adopt-A-Trail/Street/Park programs, sustainable housing projects, just to name a few, mobilize volunteers to improving their environment. All year long in Temple, an incredible number of people sacrifice their weekday or treasured weekends. Instead of a leisurely cup of coffee in the early morning hours they fill a thermos, don work gloves and sturdy boots to set out purposefully for a day of hard, sometimes grueling work. As they begin their day, most probably don’t give a thought to a larger purpose, to the philosophy or deeper meanings of community service. And why should they after all there’s a task to accomplish?
There is greater value here and deeper meaning than can be relayed by the results alone. When KTB volunteers first arrive at the park, schoolyard, church, parking lot or project site, volunteers quickly realize that they are not alone. Joining them are tens or dozens or hundreds of others. Some familiar faces, some not. Together they get their assignments and set off to work, side by side. By the end of the day, they will have accepted a challenge, flexed their muscles and ultimately succeeded together. Especially in today’s times, as many of our communities struggle with budget shortfalls and the myriad side effects of an economic slowdown this work is ever more important. Certainly volunteerism has dollars and cents value, saving municipalities funds that would otherwise need to be passed on to the community – our community in taxes.
But there is an even greater value in volunteerism that can’t be reduced to a balance sheet. Keep Temple Beautiful’s mission is to empower citizens of Temple through public awareness, instilling pride and taking responsibility for enhancing their community environment. Why? When people unite, they build consensus. They find common identity in their shared values. They agree on a need and a goal and a way to achieve it. They understand, maybe for the first time that the whole of the community is greater than the sum of its parts.
At Keep Temple Beautiful, we believe that this spirit is at the heart of our society and it is what makes America truly great. It is definitely patriotism and it is a powerful force. This community like our environment is a shared space that we all should take part in, but for that, you will have to get involved. We hope you will.
Here are a list of Great American Cleanup activities you can participate in:
Jackson Park Cleanup - Saturday, February 23 from 9am-12pm.
Garden District Beautification - Saturday, March 23rd from 9am – 12pm.
Ferguson Park Beautification - Saturday, April 13th from 9am-12pm.
Lee Crossley Veterans Community – Any Friday and Saturday from 7:30am – 2pm until the end of April.
To volunteer for these projects or learn more about Keep Temple Beautiful call (254) 493-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.