One Person Can Make a Big Difference

People assume that one person can’t make a difference. I strongly disagree. After reading Serve God, Save the Planet–the last in a series of inspirations–there was no feasible way to deny my calling any longer. In accepting God’s call for my energy and time, I had no idea what lay ahead. Blind faith led me to believe that I could make a difference.

Knowledge of the Earth’s misuse gnawed at my soul day and night. From this uncomfortable feeling, and from my admiration for the Sleeth’s work, sprouted Greener Globe Volunteer Group. Accompanied by my elementary school friend, we began a free recycling pick up service. Adding two more volunteers along the way, four ladies set out to show by example that caring for the earth did matter. Armed with dust masks, gloves, and an unwavering ambition to create change, we welcomed the dirty work.

We rode around in the 100 degree days in a truck lacking air conditioning and sorted people’s recycling. Our struggles led to small yet nonetheless meaningful triumphs. We sorted through a local restaurant’s glass to separate the colors, strengthening our immune systems and muscles along the way. We picked up three times weekly and were always met with at least 500 lbs of glass. We grunted and cheered as petite women successfully heaved garbage bags of glass into “Big Bob” (my green 1990 truck named after my Grandpa).

One day we were met at the local recycling drop off site with refusal to accept our glass. As it turns out, all the glass we were recycling was unhappily causing the city more work. One phone call and we prevailed.

We had residential and business pick-ups, and we proudly worked with the local hospital. Slowly word spread of our work and we were featured on a local news station.

After a time, gas prices and vehicle maintenance costs soared. Without more volunteers or outside funding, our services could no longer run. I decided to wait on God to tell me my next move.

My team of women and I did not realize the extent of what we had set into motion. The restaurant, inspired by our actions, continued to recycle their glass. The drop off site had more business than ever, and finally our city applied for a grant to build a recycling processing facility. If granted this funding, we hope to make Albany the “greenest” Southern city.

After running our service for less than a year, we recycled 2 tons of paper, 6 tons of glass, 300 lbs of plastic, 500 lbs aluminum, 3.3 tons of metal and 1,216 lbs of electronics, saving a total of 43.6 cubic yards of landfill space. A small number of people can make a HUGE difference. With God present, we were literally and emotionally given the strength to do the job. Greener Globe still works for the environment and humanity today.

Please don’t go through life believing that one person can’t make a difference. Separate or together, we can all impact the world.

Grace McWilliams
Greener Globe

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