A pair of gloves, a bag and maybe a pair of tongs is how this Richmond non-profit is showing its thanks to the space they live in while celebrating Thanksgiving.
Dialogue Richmond, a non-profit group organized by three Richmond residents, started its first project and challenge, Our Clean Neighbourhood, as a way for Richmondites to connect online while keeping the environment clean.
“We wanted to do something that was fitting with the pandemic as well as Thanksgiving for our first project,” said Pushpkiran Ubi, president of Dialogue Richmond.
“We timed it with Thanksgiving so that it would be a way for us to show our appreciation for the space and the community we live in. As a way to be thankful, we decided to give back by cleaning up any trash that we see.”
The project, said Ubi, is a social media challenge for residents to show their community some “care and gratitude” – in a safe manner, that is – while winning prizes.
Residents are asked to head out to their local parks and neighbourhood streets to pick up garbage and litter, and if they post a photo on social media and tag the non-profit, they will be entered into a draw to win prizes from local businesses.
Ubi told the Richmond News that this project has shown overwhelming community engagement and support.
“Residents have contacted us saying they’ve spotted others joining the challenge … and we were really blown away by how many businesses were willing to give us gift cards and prizes for people entering the challenge,” she said.
Along with picking up trash, Ubi and her Dialogue Richmond co-founding members, Jonathan Chan and Amy Li, hope to give residents a platform for conversation, community engagement, community building and social responsibility.
“It felt like Richmond was becoming a bit more exclusive and unfriendly in the past years, compared to when we grew up,” said Ubi, adding that she missed seeing neighbours greeting each other on the streets.
“We felt that political issues and social issues started to create a lot of divide in our community and with some sort of platform … we hope to address these things and help Richmond talk about them in a safe and constructive way.”
Residents wanting to participate in the project can post their photos on Instagram or Facebook, tag @dialoguermd and use the hashtag #OurCleanNeighbourhood before Oct. 11.