Be the Cause

Hanging at the Catholic Worker

The Catholic Worker is located on a quaint little street in Santa Ana. I was expecting some great big facility. Surprisingly enough, what I found was a fairly ordinary two-story house. But looks can be deceiving. That ordinary house accommodates over 200 people per night! Volunteers occupy the second floor rooms while their guests fill the remaining ground floor rooms and even the backyard when the weather is nice.

At first arrival I was struck by how quiet things were, this wouldn’t last long. I was greeted by a very friendly Dwight and his wife Leigha. They quickly became the calm center in the storm. As the house started to fill up with more and more guests and volunteers, they took the rising level of noise and chaos in stride. They easily delegated tasks to our whopping 30 volunteers. In just a few hours we made and served dinner for hundreds of people at the catholic worker and also at the Santa Ana Civic Center, we cleaned and organized the donated canned food, donated clothes, the kitchen, and the many cabinets full of medicine, diapers and everything else you can think of. Some Be the Causers even helped with electrical and construction repairs. When we were all through, we still had time to play games and paint with the kids.

Our day was so full of laughter and noise. Everyone swooping in and around and about. It was chaotic but smooth at once. We were a microcosm of the universe, at the end of the day, each of our separate tasks came together to form a bigger picture. I felt calm and at peace. I can’t wait to go back again!

Wetlands Clean Up

For the June Compassion Cell, Be The Cause cleaned up the Bolsa Chica wetlands area. We were assisted by Stephanie Barger from Earth Resource, www.earthresource.org . She provided us with instructions, gloves, and recycled biodegradable trashbags.

It was a beautiful day wandering through the wetlands. It was shocking how much trash we found, a huge amount of stuff covered with logos from the nearby fast food place, plenty of styrofoam and cigarette butts.

I will never look at my trash the same way. Well, I never looked at my trash before to begin with. But as I was picking up piece after piece, I was cringing inside remembering all of the times I have mindlessly littered in my past. (oh come on, you’ve done it before!) It felt like everything that I have ever carelessly tossed wound up in Bolsa Chica that day. It really made me realize that nothing we consume ever really goes away. Out of sight, is never out of mind. Our planet is getting smaller and smaller everyday and nothing makes you realize that more than seeing your trash cluttering up a beautiful, natural, wild life preserve.

Since that day I have been more aware of packaging and our disposable lifestyle. I’ve begun making choices based on how much waste will be produced. I guess you could say it changed my life. But really feel like I have just grown more aware of the effects of my actions.

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