Better Than You Found It: Au Pairs help clean up California coasts

The annual Coastal Clean-up is a major volunteer event to clean up the world’s shores and waterways. Last year 320 tons of trash and recyclables were collected just in California alone! Each year on the 3rd Saturday in September, volunteers around the world gather to pick up litter and debris that has collected on the local shorelines. It’s not only good for the environment; it’s good for the community too.

AuPairCare in Northern California has created an event that allows au pairs to participate in this worthwhile community effort. It’s called “Better Than You Found It” and it gives the au pairs an opportunity to experience the volunteerism that is such a big part of our American culture. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 26% of all Americans volunteered in some capacity over the last year.

At the Better Than You Found It event in San Mateo, CA, au pairs gathered early on Saturday morning to meet up with their Area Director, Marni Karel. They signed in, picked up their gloves and buckets, and were off to walk the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. Ines from Germany said:

“Yes, we do things like this in Germany, but it’s not nearly so organized. Individual groups might go out to clean up the environment, but nothing this big.”

And, big it was! There was a breakfast of bagels, coffee and fruit for the hundreds of volunteers. After the clean up was complete, everyone enjoyed a free barbecue lunch. And what could be more “American” than a barbecued burger?

The au pairs all agreed that they felt good about participating in the clean-up.

Silvia, an au pair from Slovakia said:

“I’ve been living here for almost two years, and I have fallen in love with California. This event was a great way to contribute to the environment and make California a cleaner place to live.”

Other Better Than You Found It events have taken place at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, the Berkeley Marina and along the Sacramento River. AuPairCare field staff members in the Northern California region all agree that it’s a great event that will continue. It gives the au pairs an opportunity to interact with other Americans of all ages and contribute to their adopted community as well as the world they live in.


Author: AuPairCare