Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Thaddeus!

Fraternity Brothers Give Back at Regional Cleanup Event

Potomac watershed cleanup volunteers

Potomac watershed cleanup volunteers


It's been said that millennials are more interested in taking selfies than taking action. But this group of college kids proved that stereotype wrong. 

Earlier this year, Thaddeus and other members of George Mason University's Kappa Sigma fraternity spent a Saturday morning restoring shorelines along the Potomac. The brothers helped clear trash from Teddy Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. 

The cleanup was part of a larger, regional event coordinated by our friends at the Alice Ferguson Foundation. More than 23,800 volunteers were involved, and at day's end, over one million pounds of trash had been collected! That's equivalent to 83 African elephants! 

The brothers wasted no time getting to work for their day of service. Read what interesting trash finds they spotted and hear about the true trick to finding shoreline litter. 

Q. How did you guys hear about this?
We looked online because we wanted to do something for the Kappa Sigma day of service and were looking for opportunities in the DC area. 

Q. Why did you decide to come out to today’s cleanup?
I actually used to row, so anything watershed related I’m interested in. I’ve done cleanups on the Potomac before and on the Occoquan Reservoir. So when I saw this event I thought it would be something convenient for us but also something not too hard that’s definitely a way to help out. 

Q. Is there anything that surprised you today?
I found the more you venture out and want to get dirty, like you guys said on your website, the more successful you’ll be at finding trash. 

Q. What’s the craziest thing you’ve found out here today?
We’ve found a lot of shoes—high heels. I don’t know why you would even come out here in high heels, but we’ve found a bunch. 

Q. Why is this cleanup important to the Potomac River and local lands and streams?
With the runoff, and the fact that this is people’s drinking water, and the fact too that this island is kind of a place where people want to come to get away, getting rid of the trash is a huge priority, especially for wildlife in this area. 

Q. Why do you think volunteer service is important to society?
Kappa Sigma really emphasizes the importance of community service, and I think, ultimately, giving back is the best way to show your dedication to the community. We give money to Fischer House Foundation; that’s our philanthropy. We do volunteer events all the time because we’re in a good position to give back, whereas others might not be in the same position as us, so any opportunity we get to give back is good to take advantage of. 


Get Your Hands Dirty for Clean Water

Potomac Conservancy would love to see you out on the shores of the Potomac. Find an upcoming opportunity to get outside for a cleanup by visiting our calendar of Upcoming Events > 

You May Also Like