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Written by Priscilla Villarreal, Young Texan Ambassador

LAREDO, TX – Planning an event is not as easy as it sounds, but with the assistance of Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep Laredo Beautiful, it made me feel so at ease. First, I went ahead and spoke to the director of Keep Laredo Beautiful and mentioned that I was planning on setting a date for my yearly clean-up. We conversed and decided on a date when the weather would be nice and, on the weekend, when students are not at school and have time to volunteer.

Unfortunately, one of the main obstacles we faced along the way was that our original date for the beautification/clean-up event had to be postponed due to the weather. We found out a few days prior to the event that it was going to be raining and cold. We had to cancel the event and postpone it for about two weeks later.
Luckily, on the day of the event, we were greeted with some clouds that provided us with shade. After setting up our check-in table, with the help of Keep Laredo Beautiful, our thirty-nine amazing volunteers were able to receive a healthy breakfast snack to get the day going. By the time we knew it, we had successfully planted six Agaves, twelve Crotons, and fifteen trees. We mainly focused on beautification, but two volunteers were able to walk around the location and picked up the small amount of litter. We did not weigh the amount of litter we picked up, but it was around three to six pounds of trash.
I learned during my event that patience is key. This is especially true when it comes to the younger generations. I had one child come to my event and their parents were supervising them, but I still had to make sure the child was taken care of. Also, this event helped me strengthen my communication skills. After back-and-forth communication with Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep Laredo Beautiful, I learned how to become more comfortable and more confident.

All in all, this beautification event had an amazing turn out. There were so many volunteers that showed up that day and made this event possible. I highly encourage any other Ambassador to reach out to their local affiliate for assistance. Keep Laredo Beautiful was able to contact the local police department to help us block the street to make it safer for our volunteers. Nonetheless, Keep Texas Beautiful was so supportive and were able to send me supplies for my event. It was so simple, all I had to do was sign the supply request form. These supplies were vital for my event, and I highly recommend everyone to request them for their events. The location where I held my beautification event, The Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center, were also so supportive and helpful that they had even made holes in the ground for us to place the trees and plants. This saved us a lot of time and we finished planting within an hour of starting the event. This included planting the trees, placing the soil, and spreading the mulch on top. Overall, this event was so flourishing, and I will be keeping in touch to make sure they are properly watering the plants and maintaining them. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone that helped me make this event possible.