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Beach cleanup celebrates the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Diego County celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a beach cleanup in Imperial Beach.

SAN DIEGO — In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County teamed up with Surfrider for a cleanup in Imperial Beach. Dozens of volunteers pitched in their efforts to pick up litter along the beach near the pier.

“We found cigarettes and pieces of plastic bags,” said Carmen Long.

“We were picking up trash by the pier and the sand, picking up plastic bottles,” said Brent Sevilla.

By cleaning trash off the beach, they wanted to teach the youngsters how to make a big impact in a positive way for the community.

“You have to protect your environment because the ocean’s really polluted right now,” said Sevilla.

“So all the trash doesn’t go in the ocean and kill the animals,” said Nessa Taft, who met her new big sister Sydni through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County.

“It feels great to know that I can impact such a beautiful soul and it means a lot to come out here and put a smile on her face just cause she does a lot for me more than she knows,” said Sydni Funderburk.

The foundation has about 500 volunteers and mentors for kids across the county, but they need more because over 200 kids are still on the waiting list.

“It’s literally the most fun thing. We go to places, we go to eat,” said El Cajon resident Daniel Guzman. He and his big brother Nate Gulizia came out for the beach cleanup. Ever since being paired up through the foundation, they’ve had many adventures together.

“You hear the saying that ‘you get more than you give,’ and this is definitely the first time that it really hit me,” said Gulizia. “Spending time with him, getting to know him and just watching him grow. I get to impart a little knowledge that I have, and help him grow up a little happier, I think.” 

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego county, click here.

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