The Humanist Community at Harvard (HCH) kicked off our 2013 Values in Action (VIA) programming with a Cambridge City Park Clean Up. The VIA program is HCH’s community service and interfaith initiative with a three-fold goal: to better the conditions of life for others through service to humanity, to build alliances between religious and nonreligious individuals and communities, and to combat the misconception that the nonreligious do not contribute to society.
We collaborated with the Cambridge Department of Public Works on this program. Supplies, including shovels, trash bags, tools, and gloves, and a suggested location to clean were provided by the Cambridge Department of Public Works. About 25 volunteers met at the HCH office and traveled together to the clean up location. Before beginning the clean up, HCH staff led the volunteers in brief introductions, described the goals and framework of the VIA program, and had each participant share why they chose to serve that day. HCH staff also encouraged participants to meet new people throughout the day. After 10 minutes of introductions, volunteers split up into teams and began picking up trash, pulling weeds, and cleaning tree wells along Massachusetts Avenue near Porter Square.
HCH’s first VIA event was a success as participants were able to make Cambridge a more enjoyable place for everyone by cleaning up the street while also engaging in conversation with other volunteers about why they chose to serve. Thanks to everyone who came out!