Danielle Dozier poses with her two daughters after picking up trash in their Decatur, Georgia neighborhood
Danielle Dozier and her daughters clean up their Decatur, Georgia neighborhood

We should all be doing our part to protect the planet for future generations, and even small acts can have a big impact. Earth Day falls in the middle of National Volunteer Week (April 18-24), providing many opportunities for people to serve their community and do good for the planet. Danielle Dozier, a provider concierge in Delta Dental’s Alpharetta office, didn’t need a special day or week to make a difference in her community. She has been working to clean up her neighborhood for her community and her kids.

Danielle lives in Decatur, Georgia, where there is Glenwood Avenue and Glenwood Road. The names of the streets are similar, but they might as well be in different cities and not just a few miles apart. The Avenue benefits from trashcans, clean sidewalks and well-maintained parks, while the Road has none of those. In fact, Danielle’s 8-year-old daughter put it in pretty clear terms on her way home from dance class: “Mom, all we did was drive up the street, and we went from rich to poor.”

Danielle expressed her surprise at her daughter’s observations. “I was struck that she even noticed at her age the significant difference the pollution could make on her very own street. I explained that just like making your bed or straightening up your toys in a room, it could make all the difference with just cleaning up behind yourself – even outside.”

Danielle wanted to do something, and she decided to help pick up litter to bring the worlds between the Avenue and the Road a little closer together and create a better environment for her kids.

Serving her community has always been important to Danielle who has worked to help the low-income communities. “I have been participating in and organizing Thanksgiving and Christmas drives, and back to school events, for about the past 4-5 years,” she said. 

Danielle led Delta Dental’s employee #TrashTag challenge. She and her kids cleaned up the neighborhood and encouraged others to do so on social media. According to Danielle, it was a great experience.

“It was awesome! I actually went out on two separate days – once by myself and then with my kids.  It was way more invigorating to see how my kids thought nothing of it to slap those gloves on and dive in.  They were super proud of the way things looked after they cleaned it up and asked me what else we could do in the community. I smiled and felt so proud to have these two adorable babies who know nothing of life but at the same time know so much!”

Danielle hopes that by sharing her experience she will encourage others to show initiative and do what is right. “Their community just may need unity and to become one, starts with one.

As for her kids, she hopes they carry the importance of taking care of the planet into their adult lives. “I do my best to teach my children the best ways to handle their trash and make sure they know there are other living creatures that we cannot see but that help us to survive. Polluting the environment may harm them, which could hurt us.”

Join the #TrashTag effort this National Volunteer Week. Snap a picture of yourself cleaning up your community, and tag @deltadentalins so we can share your efforts.