VOLUNTEERS from three organizations showed their Valentine’s love and island spirit by conducting a beach cleanup at a northern beach on Saipan, Saturday, Feb. 13.

As a part of their spirit week, about 60 members of Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School, Kensington Hotel/E-Land Saipan and the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance staff partnered up to clean Paupau Beach as a way of giving back to the community.

“We had our [Student Council] Love Your Environment Day, aligned with their spirit week,” said Raena Camacho, GTC principal. “When we first started meeting with the STUCO we asked them about ways they could give back to their community and so one of their ideas was the beach cleanup.”

To the group’s surprise, the beach was fairly clean that day.

“I was a little bit surprise today because usually the place is a little bit more messier than this,” said Brian Shin, chief executive officer for E-Land Saipan, highlighting how the cleanup was completed in less than two hours. Shin said it may be due to more public awareness and cleanup events such as the one held.

“This is a very small step from the environment preservation perspective, but I think this will raise the awareness of what we can do to contribute to keep our place clean and safe,” Shin said.

A GTC counselor said the cleanup instilled a greater appreciation for the island’s beauty in the students.

“I think that it is really great for our kids to be out here appreciating nature and the environment and just preserving the beauty of the CNMI,” said Hope Gomez, a counselor at GTC.

Gomez was grateful for the collaborative effort amongst the different organizations.

“What stuck out to me was how so many organizations were here…working together to make it a success,” Gomez said. “I am thankful for the partnerships that we had with MINA…and Kensington today.”

Kensington Hotel provided cleanup volunteers and to-go meals for every participant that day. The MINA staff equipped volunteers with cleanup supplies and hauled the trash away.

For Camacho, who was also grateful for the two groups, said having the parents come out to support their kids was meaningful.

“I really want to thank the parents, especially, for showing up with their kids this morning,” said Camacho. “It is always great to see our parents excited to participate and join us.”

Shin said that being a part of the community is important to his company, but even more is that it brings everyone together to take pride in the island.

“Whenever there is an opportunity like this, we want to be a part of it, especially for a good cause like this,” Shin said. “This shows that the community has come together with the organization around the area to keep our own places clean.”

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