Littler pickup

Picking up litter while you're walkiing is one way of volunteering to help the environment.

Winter is finally coming to an end! As the temperature rises, so does the need for volunteers to help nonprofit organizations with outdoor updates and activities.

Opportunities available to volunteers range from gardening and landscaping to maintenance needs and cleaning projects that may have been overlooked during the winter months. If you are excited about the warmer temperatures and are looking for a meaningful way to be active in the community, there are plenty of opportunities that will allow you to enjoy the spring weather.

One easy project that you can complete while maintaining social distance is by taking a walk and collecting litter along the way. We recommend planning your pickup in conjunction with your regularly scheduled trash pickup day.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe while picking up litter in the community:

— Be aware of private property and get permission from landowners before going on their land.

— Roadside litter can be dangerous. Do not open coolers, jugs, bottles and other sealed containers.

— Make sure you wear thick gloves, appropriate clothing and safety gear.

— Report any suspicious or dangerous items to police immediately.

Another great spot to check out while on your walk is your storm drain. Litter and other debris can get caught in the drain, causing flooding and erosion. Heavy spring downpours can quickly back up blocked drains, so it is best to check on them frequently.

Trash and other pollutants can also wash down the drain and cause clogs and contamination further down the pipeline, making litter pickup even more important.

We all live downstream, so let’s keep it clean!

Taking a little time out of your day to help collect some trash seems small, but if all of us chip in and help, just think of all the litter we’ll be able to pick up. By doing our part to take care of the environment, we can make a lasting impact that will benefit generations for years to come.

Other volunteer opportunities

Here are some other ways that you can get involved in the community:

• Tiny Town, a hands-on, interactive play-based center, is always accepting applications for new volunteers. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age and complete free background clearances.

For more information, please contact Giselle Davis at or 717-947-7350.

• Good Samaritan Services’ Winter Shelter is continuing to offer its emergency services into the warmer months.

If you are able to volunteer or donate to support this vital program, please visit or call 717-733-3395.

Nonprofit organizations in Lancaster County are encouraged to publish volunteer needs in this column. For a copy of submission guidelines, or for answers to questions about volunteering in Lancaster County, contact United Way’s Volunteer Center at 717-824-8122 or email

Audrey Lilley is the manager of volunteerism and advocacy at United Way of Lancaster County.

What to Read Next