The marshlands and beach areas around the New York Harbor have been overlooked and neglected for decades. Contamination of this ecosystem and lack of environmental protection have left many of these areas, once the pride of the region, destitute. Only in recent years, with the creation of the National Park Service Gateway Recreation Area and the installment of beach cleanup campaigns, has the area been able to progressively recover from the effects of waste and contamination. However, many areas of the Long Island shoreline still remain strewn with waste and debris, a footprint of human occupation.
Seeing the decaying condition of this area, the members of the World Mission Society Church of God were more than willing to swiftly lend a hand in the environmental protection efforts. Following the teachings and the example of Heavenly Mother, who cares for the people and global issues like a loving mother cares for her household, the members of the Church of God volunteer their time to bring forth good results in the global village and give glory to God.
On March 20, 2011, a large volunteer group from the Church of God went to the marshes and beaches that were still affected by pollution. More than 300 volunteers worked in unity and with enthusiasm. The original target comprised only of the area around Breezy Point, Queens, NY. However, due to the unexpectedly high volunteer turnout, park officials decided to send some of the volunteers of the Church of God to recover the area around Plumb Beach, Brooklyn, NY.
As a mother loves when her children live in harmony, the members of the Church of God understand that God is pleased to see the children of God working in unity to achieve a greater goal for humanity. The volunteers gathered around large wooden beams and removed them with ease. Moving them was an awesome feat of cooperation. In all this, the volunteers seemed neither undeterred nor fatigued.
There were many things that littered this once beautiful area, from household waste and recyclables to boat wreckage. The volunteers worked with joy to quickly bring about astounding results. Feeling their passion and energy, many of the participants from outside organizations were astonished to see their efficiency and unity.
Don Riepe, Chapter Director of the American Littoral Society, was quick to note that the majority of volunteers from the Church of God were young adults. He was very touched at the sight of young people working to relieve the ailing ecosystem. He was particularly impressed with the volunteers’ determination, as they quickly dispatched seemingly immovable debris.
“Many kids spend their time on themselves, doing bad things. It’s good to see young people caring about others, kids who are willing to make a difference,” Don Riepe stated. “If all the kids were like these Church of God kids, we’d have no problems in this world.”
Unity, like in all Church of God volunteer events, was the main theme and the key to success of this beach cleanup. Through the cooperation of the members and the hand of God, whose stewardship guarantees our success, the volunteer group made remarkable progress in this environmental task in an exceptionally short period of time. The members of the Church of God are looking forward to many more volunteer events where they can put their talents to good use, help others and shine the glory of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother throughout the United States and the world.