We had never advertised an event so heavily. Usually, we set up an event on Meetup, reposted it on Facebook and crossed our fingers; our average turnout was about 10 people. However, this time we were hoping for a massive response – maybe even a hundred volunteers! We posted notices at the university and in the city newspaper, flyers on downtown business windows, and also met with several possible supporters.
The date of the event was February 9, 2020, exactly one week after the NFL Super Bowl. We were responding to the NFL’s nationwide call for “One More Sunday” – a day when football fans could dedicate the time they formerly spent watching football to helping their communities.
We also created a contest for volunteers – they would sign up for their favorite team and compete for cash prizes. We had a scale to weigh the trash so we could determine our MVP. Lucky Slice provided a stack of pizzas, and we borrowed grabbers and gloves to supplement our supply.
Sunday morning arrived, along with a freezing wind. Five of us gathered in a warm car, waiting for the volunteers to arrive. As we had hoped, right on time a couple of people showed up. We yelled, “it’s happening” and piled out of the car to greet them.
No one else showed up.
We still had a great time, meeting our new Most Valuable Plikers and collecting 59 pounds of trash. Despite the freezing weather, we picked up more than 700 items, recorded using Litterati. We chatted, laughed and stuffed ourselves with pizza.
I don’t know what impact One More Sunday had in other parts of the country. But in Ogden, Utah, it led to a clean park and a good story we could share later. Much later.