The importance of events like these is to glean as much fruit as possible for donation.

The importance of events like these is to glean as much fruit as possible for donation.

On Saturday, February 22nd, local sustainability advocacy organization Ubuntu Green, in collaboration with the Avenues Community Collaborative, will host a “Clean and Glean” event at Pacific Elementary School. The event will focus on cleaning up trash as well as gleaning fruit from trees around the neighborhood, and will offer free lunch to all participants. This marks the second big event co-hosted by the Avenues Community Collaborative, a group of parents and local organizations working diligently to improve their neighborhood and create the kind of community residents want to see.

“Clean and glean” events- a term coined by Ubuntu Green for events that both clean up neighborhoods and collect fruit for donation- have always been a great way for residents to give back to their community in a variety of ways.

“People should join this event because they are interested in helping their communities, and meeting other people who share that interest,” says Katie Valenzuela, Programs and Communications Manager for Ubuntu Green. “These events are great ways to get to know a neighborhood and the people who live in it, all while providing a valuable service to residents.”

The word Ubuntu, a Bantu philosophy, means ‘human kindness’ and the unspoken bond humans have with each other. Ubuntu Green has always been dedicated to spreading human kindness, especially by fostering sustainable, healthy neighborhoods and creating events that encourage others to do the same. Other events they have hosted include collaborations with Harvest Sacramento and Farm-to-Fork, a campaign run by local chefs, growers and government officials to raise awareness about food growth, our region’s rich agricultural history, and culinary excellence.

Volunteers for this event will be fully equipped with tools such as trash bags, safety vests and gloves. Gleaning supplies, like pickers and buckets, will also be provided to all participants. In addition, an important aspect of this effort is to engage others in the spirit of this event and get more locals to help out in the future.

“Along the way,” says Valenzuela, “hopefully volunteers will be given plenty of opportunities to talk with local residents about what they are doing and how residents can join them for future events.”

The effects of events like these go past the few hours volunteers spend cleaning and gleaning. The organizers at Ubuntu Green have seen how residents continue to take leadership roles in their community, and neighborhoods stay cleaner longer. Less trash can be found in the streets, especially after big events like this. Most importantly, thousands of pounds of fresh produce get donated to people in need. These collaborations are rewarding for everyone involved, from residents, to volunteers, to the organizers.

“The great part of events like these is that they are practical activities, but with amazing potential for building better communities,” Valenzuela observes. “Just by doing something as simple as picking up trash or collecting ripe fruit from trees, we provide a basic service to communities while also opening the door to meaningful connections between residents, volunteers, and the community they are working in.”

Everyone is welcome to join the volunteer effort. To do so, contact Ubuntu Green at (916) 893-8226, or attend the planning meeting from 9:15 am to 10:30am on Wednesday, February 12th at Pacific Elementary School, located at 6201 41st street, Sacramento, CA 95824.