Unity is the key to accomplishing great works, which is exactly why the Bergen County Cleanup Campaign was such a success this past Sunday, May 7, 2017. Through this cleanup campaign, volunteers hoped to raise awareness among residents about the importance of maintaining clean parks, trails and highways. With a collaborative effort focused on reviving and renewing Hackensack’s local parks, the residents who occupy the areas during the year were in for a pleasant surprise.

About 110 volunteer members from the World Mission Society Church of God in Ridgewood, Bogota, and Passaic arrived at the first park at 8 a.m. They wasted no time and primed the river banks surrounding Hackensack’s Riverfront Plaza. Volunteers then moved to the next two nearby parks, Johnson and Foschini.

Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr. of Hackensack came out to personally thank the efforts of the Church of God. “I really, really appreciate you coming out on a Sunday morning at 8 a.m.,” said Mayor Labrosse Jr. “If they can do it, I can do it,” he commented.

Church of God volunteers who live in the area were ecstatic to participate in the cleanup. “It was a great feeling to be able to give back to my community today,” said Frank Rodriguez. “I’ve been volunteering with the Church of God for over seven years and it’s always a rewarding experience. The volunteers genuinely care about making a difference and that allows us to work in unity and with joy.”

While cleaning the Hackensack River banks, members noticed a great amount of garbage hidden in layers of muck, which had most likely drifted in from the coast. The volunteers didn’t hold back to clean every hidden piece of much. In total, they accumulated around two tons of debris.

Councilman David Sims, who was with the volunteers throughout the cleanup, was stunned by the turnout and efforts of the Church volunteers. With a beaming smile, Councilman Sims said, “I hope you come back. First time seeing anything like this. On behalf of the city of Hackensack, we appreciate all you’ve done today.”