Tired of seeing trash littering the streets of his neighborhood, Billy Arbaugh decided to become a one-person beautification crew.
Last year, the San Bernardino Valley College student spent hours picking up garbage in Redlands. It bothered him that some people were treating the city he lives in like “a landfill,” and he wanted to show that residents do care about how their town looks.
As he worked, he made an impression on neighbors, who watched as Arbaugh made his way through the streets, cleaning up. He enjoys being able to give back, and would like to see others “go out and at least give it a try and see what they think about volunteering at something.”
For Arbaugh, it is a gift to be able to contribute to the greater good. “It’s important to give back to the community because the community can help and your services are greatly appreciated,” he said.
SBVC employee Erik Morden agrees, and often spends hours of his own time picking up trashes in the San Bernardino community or southern California beaches. “It feels good to help others and beautify our community, he said “especially in this time of need and when you can do so safely.”
Morden, a food services supervisor at San Bernardino Valley College, further added to his volunteering time by making Thanksgiving better for dozens of Inland Empire families in need of assistance this fall.
Morden lives in Colton and is a member of the Colton Lions Club. As part of their community outreach, the club held a Thanksgiving food giveaway in November, spending eight hours distributing boxes of food.
“This was one of the few projects we had during the pandemic,” Morden said. “I know a lot of people have been impacted and felt compelled to help.”
Morden has been a member of the Colton Lions Club for more than a decade, and has also been a Kiwanian for 18 years. Prior to coming to SBVC, Morden owned a family restaurant, and said he became active in service clubs because “I felt it was important to network and find an established mode of giving back to the community I serve. After transitioning my career to the education sector, I still found it important to maintain my membership in these clubs.”
Volunteering is a simple way to improve everyone’s lives, Morden said. “The community is what we make of it,” he declared. “When we lift up the community, we lift up ourselves.”