On Earth Day, I had the opportunity to see firsthand what a group of people can do when you have a single purpose. As I have done for many years, Saturday morning I joined a group of volunteers at Cicero Town Hall whose goal was to pick up litter in and around the town. It was encouraging to see our group of about 20 people from all age groups. In about four hours, we were able to pick up two dump trucks full of garbage from along the roadside. Everything from car body parts to fast food straws went in bags with OCRRA stickers.
Earth Day Cleanup is far from a glamorous day of volunteering, and it’s unfortunate that it’s become a necessity each year. Whether you were picking up trash or coordinating other efforts in the area, your work and time is vital to maintaining the beauty of our town. To those who took the time out of their weekends to help, thank you. By coming together as a community and volunteering our time, we were able to make Cicero a little nicer than it was just a few short days ago.
Growing up in the Burtis household, my family instilled in my brother, sister and me the value of giving to others. Mostly, it was the giving of our time. My grandparents and my parents volunteered at church. Each one gave of themselves in their own way to enrich the lives of others in the community. I was always encouraged to, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Serving others was a way of life.
The value of selfless volunteering cannot be overstated, especially in a time when it’s so easy to focus on our individual selves rather than those around us and in our communities. It excites me, as a county legislator, to hear of the work being done by volunteers, especially here in Cicero. If you’re volunteering in any capacity, be it in your church, local food kitchen, youth sports clubs, or anywhere else, I want to thank you. After all, that is in essence how I started my public service career many years ago. Young or old, there’s never a better time to volunteer than now.
Tim Burtis represents the third legislative district, which includes the town of Cicero and portions of the town of Manlius. Tim welcomes constituent feedback; he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at (315) 396-3300.