Pasco County Coastal Cleanup

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on October 24, 2020

The pandemic has brought uncertainty and hardships to many in 2020 –  this includes local nonprofit organizations that were already struggling to find funding. Keep Pasco Beautiful is an environmental nonprofit that was established in 1992.  

Rotary Club of New Port Richey takes the lead to support Pasco County Coastal Cleanup

Each year they host the Pasco County Coastal Cleanup, which organizes volunteers throughout the county to pick up trash along roadways, waterways, and public spaces.  
 
This spring it became apparent that the virus was going to affect numerous local businesses, many of which sponsor events and charities such as Keep Pasco Beautiful.  The Rotary Club of New Port Richey saw the need to support the Pasco County Coastal Cleanup and decided to partner with Trinity Rotary, West Pasco Sunset Rotary, and Dade City Sunrise Rotary in applying for the District Grant through the Rotary District 6950 Foundation.  

District grants fund small-scale, short-term activities that address needs in local communities and those abroad. Grants can be used to fund a variety type of humanitarian projects and activities. These grants allow Clubs to expand projects and have more impactful projects than perhaps they could fund on their own. The West Pasco Sunset Rotary Club was granted a District Grant in the amount of $2,500 for the Pasco County Coastal Cleanup project, and the local clubs contributed an additional $3,500.  
 
Smaller groups were encouraged for social distancing for the Pasco County Coastal Cleanup, which increased locations to 36.  On September 19th there were 922 volunteers that worked throughout Pasco County for 3,248 hours picking up 19.52 tons of trash.  According to Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs, the value of a volunteer hour in the state of Florida was $24.93 in 2019.  That means the cost-benefit of the cleanup volunteers was $80,972.64.
 
Many Rotarians participated in the event with their families. Seven-year-old Leo George and his five-year-old brother Dallas are veteran cleanup volunteers.  That in itself is impressive.  Even more so is the fact that their mother Nora said they are now on a perpetual coastal cleanup.  That is the true success of the program.  Establishing behaviors in our youth with the hope that one day cleanups will no longer be necessary.
 
For more information about the Rotary Club of New Port Richey, visit: https://www.nprrotary.org/

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