Campus California: Supporting Sustainability Projects
Since 2000, Campus California has worked to help individuals who are most affected by global climate changes, as well as poverty, both in the United States and around the world. The program’s goal is to support sustainability projects and to meet solid waste reduction goals in the state of California.
In 2011, California passed a law called AB 341; this piece of legislation requires the state to work toward a 75 percent reduction in solid waste by the year 2020. Since it was created, the cities and counties in the state have reported pounds of waste collected by Campus California in an attempt to demonstrate progress toward that goal. The organization supports these efforts, and has since altered its mission statement to reflect a commitment to waste reduction through a partnership with cities and counties in order to help make this goal a reality.
How does the program operate?
The program works to support sustainability projects and to move toward California’s solid waste reduction numbers by collecting and selling donated items. The group also works alongside individuals in the communities that are most impacted by global climate change and poverty, providing support and aid.
The group offers innovative programs tackling school recycling, art projects, community cleanup events, and the placement of boxes at local businesses, thus making textile recycling both easy and convenient for members of the community. The team also pairs up with other non-profit organizations in California in order to power the mission. They save the items that are placed in the boxes that don’t get sold, such as food, toys, and books, and then give them to local groups and schools that can benefit from them. Campus California also collects toys and books for smaller non-profits that simply don’t have the staff to attend a community cleanup event.
Campus California Talks About the Programs Their Organization Supports
The staff of Campus California feels that all individuals deserve to have equal opportunities for success in life, and the donation of unwanted clothes and shoes helps to make this possible by giving quality materials to those who might not otherwise have access to them. The group supports other community programs in their own missions around the country. Here are some of these programs that the group supports.
The group has worked in partnership with YouthBuild USA, a non-profit that works to offer comprehensive education, support services, counseling, leadership development, job and life skills programs, and on-the-job residential construction training, as well as NCCER certification. Established in 1996, the charity meets a range of needs.
IICD Michigan, with the help of YDB, recently hosted a weekend retreat. This getaway featured presentations, art workshops, inspirational sessions, and other programs that students and young people helped to put together. IICD student Nahyun notes that one of the most important parts of the experience was the question and answer session after the presentations. Nahyun explains, “We asked why they joined YDB, and everyone had time to explain their reasons.” The answers provided were both insightful and heart wrenching. Some joined because they were suffering from poverty or inequality. These situations made individuals feel as though it was impossible to adapt to society, and it made them feel hopeless. Their involvement in this group helps them to overcome these feelings, thus improving their quality of life.
These statements further emphasize the importance of groups like YDB, as well as Campus California.
The members of IICD Massachusetts, alongside Humana People to People, work to learn garden farming techniques and join farming clubs. This small step can help to shift people’s perspectives on low-quality processed food, thus promoting healthier life choices. A recent newsletter from the organization notes, “Sometimes a small change can lead to bigger things—a tipping point. Smoking used to be cool, and now after a few decades of education, people are choosing a healthier lifestyle.”
Since implementing these programs, thousands of rural farmers have begun to participate in farming clubs, and are now able to feed local residents healthy food. IICD Massachusetts works to get students prepared to assist in rural Africa by creating their own community garden. The students explain that they can taste the difference between the vegetables that they grow and the ones that they purchase in the grocery store. Currently, they’re working to increase production. The participants are building a greenhouse, and are working to become self-sufficient.
RVA St. Vincent
The volunteer training programs in RVA have similarities to the ones found at IICD Michigan and Massachusetts, though RVA has some unique traits. Participants aren’t just training to go to a developing country, they’re also learning in a developing country with many chances to take part in creating improvements right off the bat. Since the re-opening of the Academy in 2007, more than 140 volunteers from all over the world have received training in working with Humana People to People in Africa and Ecuador.
The Academy organizes several projects besides just training volunteers. They put together a community center in the North Leeward area of St. Vincent, including a farm and a nature and hiking center. Richmond Vale Academy provides a unique chance for learning in the Caribbean. To date, the institution has granted six full scholarships to local residents, and plans to grant another four in 2013.
Academy attendees organize and participate in several outreach activities such as Open Saturdays, World Coastal Clean Up Day, the Rose Hall Community Center upgrade, and the scheduling of educational and sports clubs in the area. Individuals also assist orphans and those with physical disabilities. The group’s farm produces limes, vegetables, bananas, pineapples, passion fruit, and is even home to sheep and pigs.
Campus California is a group that works to promote sustainability, charity, and the reduction of waste through a series of programs and outreach efforts. The organization is always in need of volunteers to help with donating children’s books to local schools, organizing clothing drives, helping with fundraising efforts, and a variety of other important tasks. They also welcome new approaches for fundraising from volunteers. The group operates clothing collection programs all over the state of California. There are several hundred drop-off boxes available today. They also do pick-ups for those who have more clothes than could reasonably fit in the box. For those with more than 15-20 full bags of clothing, pickups are always available. Campus California partners with other charitable organizations, such as IICD Michigan and IICD Massachusetts, to promote widespread aid to those in need around the world.
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