Strengthen Families

Volunteering by Taking a ‘Trash Pickup Walk’: Mrs. Shimazu’s SFV Story

Wairimu Mwangi
June 13, 2023

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” One way of serving others is by sacrificing our time, effort, and resources to improve the world. Many benefits can be attached to volunteering, including networking and making new friends, learning new skills, and the emotional fulfillment of serving a cause greater than self.

Mrs. Shimazu who lives in Osaka Japan enjoys volunteering to spend time with her family while caring for the environment. 

She takes her elementary school daughter on what they call ‘a trash pickup walk’ several times a month. Through this simple but fun activity, she has taught her daughter the culture of living for the greater good.

In her community a river transverses but there is a lot of trash in it and on the river banks. While walking along the river banks, Mrs. Shimazu explains to her daughter how the garbage could have landed in the river.

“Why don't they just take their trash home?” her daughter once asked. This sparked a deep conversation between them on how to care for the environment and live responsibly. They have made it a habit to pick up the trash and dispose it off correctly while at it.

The clean-up activity allows Mrs. Shimazu to bond with her daughter while engaging in play. Not only do they share time, but that also boosts their mental, physical, and emotional health.

“Sometimes my daughter takes off her shoes, turns up her pants and walks along the river banks,” she said.

Mrs. Shimazu’s story demonstrates that volunteering knows no bounds or age. Everyone in the family can take part in serving others through different actions. We must invest, take responsibility for our actions, and work together to build a culture of service, peace, and harmony worldwide.

You too can be part of Sunshine Family Volunteers! If you have a Sunshine Family Volunteer story to share or your family wants to start a project, email: