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And still I see no changes, can’t a brother get a little peace?

April 9, 2009

So, I’ve been wanting to tell everyone about this awesome new network for young people who want to be involved in changing the world for weeks. And now, I’ve found a great motivation to get writing.

As you may or may not know, I went to undergrad at UC Santa Barbara. There’s honestly nothing better than living five minutes from the beach, riding your bike to class and getting a degree from a good school all at the same time. Unfortunately, right now I’m a little ashamed to be a Gaucho. Now, I’m all for the residents of Isla Vista having a good time, spending time on the beach, kicking off spring and drinking their beverage of choice. But I think this year’s Floatopia has taken it too far.

As you can see, Floatopia was clearly a good time, but sadly nobody bothered to clean up after themselves. 12,000 people and their trash left on the beach and in IV to pollute the water and streets alike.

From the SB Independent - Meredith Ennis

From the SB Independent - Meredith Ennis

From the SB Independent - Eric Ford

From the SB Independent - Eric Ford

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think there’s nothing better than a bunch of privileged college kids spending daddy & mommy’s money on rafts, bikinis, board shorts and booze, and leaving their trash behind for the county, tax payers and good samaritans to clean up, to prove how unapathetic and active college-aged kids are in creating a better world for ourselves and future generations.

Even better, Josh Taylor, the director of the UCSB Excursion Club that sent out the facebook invitation, wrote this lovely column for the student paper.

I changed my mind, there is no better way to prove the people who call college-aged kids lazy, apathetic, spoiled and disinterested in service wrong than to portray yourself as a victim (The city of Santa Barbara doesn’t want Isla Vista, Goleta doesn’t want Isla Vista – nobody wants us. ), and to tell other residents to relax “when we throw a fucking party?” I mean, if students are doing beach cleanups then it’s their perogative to trash the beach all they want right? Nothing sells your point better than swearing throughout your serious column about how responsible and important students are to the community.

In light of all that, I’m so glad to have a place like HandsIn.org to go to find other 20-somethings who want to create change in this world (I don’t want this to sound like some sort of shameless plug or infomercial, but I really believe in what Nicole and everyone at HandsIn are doing).

Whether you’re into helping the homeless, creating a better life for children, saving energy, going green, or human rights, HandsIn is a great place to find other people who want to help or to find more ways you can help. Better yet, if you have no idea how to help, you can get some great ideas from the HandsIn team or other members.

Whether you already do lots of stuff to make a difference or you’re searching for the kind of satisfaction you can only get from rolling your sleeves up and doing some good ol’ fashioned service, HandsIn is a great place to go. If you’re not sure where to start, first visit the website. You can also sign up for the RSS feed. Or follow them on Twitter (start following them on Twitter by Monday and you might win a cool environmentally-friendly prize!). Advantages of joining include: having a chance to enter awesome giveaways, meeting cool people who are committed to change, joining and creating groups about your passions,  and most importantly, being friends with yours truly.

With the first-ever 20-Something Service Day coming up on April 26, I’ll probably be writing a lot more about HandsIn as the month goes on. Join the revolution so I don’t have to be ashamed of our generation.

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