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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Green Apple Day of Service (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Published on Written by Posted in Center for Green Schools

Hello San Antonio! The Center for Green Schools team arrived this week in the great state of Texas for USGBC’s annual mid-year meeting, chatting with our most engaged stakeholders about Green Apple and the Day of Service. It’s been inspiring to hear how engaged so many of our leaders are planning to be on Sept. 29, and what they’ve already done to promote this day.

We’ve been spending our days with the chapter green schools committees and those interested in how they can further become involved in our mission to create healthy, high-performing schools for all within this generation. But through talking further about the Day of Service, one thing we’re finding is that people still have a lot of questions. How do I register? How can I get more volunteers? How do I promote my event on and after Sept. 29? Where can I find funds for my project? And the list goes on.

Well, for those of you reading this post and find yourself asking similar questions, you’re in luck! We’ve answered some of the inquiries we’ve been getting a lot of below. If we didn’t answer your questions, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] and our team will be sure to get you an answer ASAP.

How do I find projects in my area?

Our Green Apple website supports search functionality for registered projects within a 100 mile radius of a zipcode, or by country. We’re seeing 8-10 new registrations a day, so check often!

Does my event have to be on Sept. 29?

We’re using Sept. 29 as our main date for service projects, but we don’t want to discourage others from getting involved if Saturday does not work for them. The majority of events will happen in the month of September, so if you’re not doing a project on Sept. 29, just be sure to keep us informed of what date it will be on.

How do I promote and broadcast the work I’m doing leading up to Sept. 29?

We encourage you to check out our promo kit on our tools page, which takes you step by step through different ways you can talk about the great work you’ve been doing. We also encourage you to share your updates and progress via social media – it’s a great and easy way to spread the word and get more people on board. Follow us on twitter, @mygreenschools, and share your plans with #greenapple. Finally, the Center welcomes any photos or blog posts you may have about the work that you’re doing - we’d love to feature them on our site!

What do I do after my project?

Tell us the details! How it went, how many people showed up, what you accomplished, any media coverage that came from it – and don’t forget photos! We’ll be working hard in the months after September to share all of your stories, and encourage more participation for next year’s Day of Service.

Where can I find funding?

Our hope is that Green Apple Day of Service does not have to be a significant financial undertaking, demonstrating that school improvement projects can happen with little cost, and with in-kind contributions of services and resources from within one’s own community. Check out the idea cards we have posted on the site. We've suggested a number of low- or no-cost school improvement projects like classroom and schoolyard cleanups. For other projects like school gardens for which supplies will be required, we recommend you seek in-kind contributions of services and resources from within your own community. Local businesses, NGOs and PTAs make great partners for Green Apple Day of Service.

Where can I find additional volunteers?

Partner, partner, partner! Forming a partnership with a group in your community is a very easy way to expand your volunteer base exponentially. Places like churches, Rotary clubs, companies based in your area with a large number of employees or local non-profits are great places to start.

My project is small – should I still register it?

Yes! Even if you don’t plan on needing additional volunteers or capacity, we’d still like to get your project on the map.

If I will be doing something in multiple locations, should I register one event, or each one?

We’re thrilled you have more than one project in the works, and we want to know about every single one. The map on mygreenapple.org is more than a way for you to register projects; it’s way for everyone to see just how far and wide Green Apple Day of Service is being taken! By registering each Day of Service event individually, you’ll be able to meet potential volunteers where they live and work, providing nearby opportunities to connect and support. If you have lots and lots of projects to get registered, contact Emily Davis, [email protected], to help you navigate the registration tool.

I’m from another country – do you have materials in different languages?

We do! We have our one-pager in Spanish, and are working on also translating it into Arabic, Swahili and French. If there is a resource you would like translated, please contact Carly Cowan, [email protected]. If you’ve already taken the initiative to translate our resources yourself, please let us know and we can help to format them.

I’m not able to do a service project – is there anything else I can do?

While we’re sad to hear you aren’t able to join us on Sept. 29, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved. One of the easiest and most visual ways you can help is to take a picture of a green apple for our We Learn Here campaign. Identify a place you feel you learn the most, and snap of a picture of you with a green apple there. The upload it on our website, or share it via social media.

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    Mallory Shelter made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Mallory Shelter

Communications Specialist U.S. Green Building Council

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