The workshops were excellent because we had anticipated around 20 participants at each location, but had around 50. Part of the workshop included a 60-minute discussion where people met in small groups to network and serve as outreach to one another.
As a moderator of one of these groups, I felt really overwhelmed by people's (especially teacher's) willingness to lend a hand where necessary, to use their own time when needed and to offer all of their materials and hard work to anyone who could use them. Some schools don't have any recycling programs and came to figure out a way to get one going. Others had solid plans implemented, but needed coworker support.
One woman really stood out in my mind as the type of individual the world needs. Her school didn't have a recycling program, so while she was trying to figure out ways to implement one, she had been putting out plastic bags in the school for recycling. She put them out. She collected them. She took care of everything alone. During school? Not at all; on her own time, unpaid. With that as her history, you would think that perhaps she was coming to the workshop demanding help, feeling frazzled or desiring more money somehow. When the conversation changed toward ways we might be able to make money from recycling, she finally said in an honest voice, "I don't care about the money. I care about what students learn. I care about whether they understand the importance of the environment and want them to feel as though they have tools to protect it." Hello fresh air!