Rick Hendry claims, “Everyone has interest and a passion. No matter what your physical abilities are no matter how little time you have … you can do something in line with your passion.” For Rick and his wife Sharon, their passions are recycling and community service.

The couple retired to Brunswick, Georgia, four years ago and quickly jumped in to helping the community. They initially became involved with a cleanup program through their homeowners’ association, which eventually led them to volunteering with Keep Golden Isles Beautiful.

Rick and Sharon quickly became integral members of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful’s efforts in beautifying the community. They regularly volunteer for marsh cleanup efforts and have formed two groups in the Adopt-A-Highway program: Belle Point Homeowners Association and the Golden Isles Sail and Power Squadron.

In one marsh cleanup effort on Feb. 17, the couple hauled out 11 bags of trash, three bags of hard plastic, two tires, three kiddy pools, two kid’s mattresses, several totes, and many big pieces of plastic. This was accomplished all within three hours! This is just a fraction of the 1,080 pounds of litter, 96 pounds of recyclables, and 20 scrap tires the couple removed along the marsh in January 2017 alone.

Rick and Sharon are not only passionate about marsh cleanups but are also passionate about recycling. They helped make litter collection more accessible within their community by placing Keep Golden Isles Beautiful’s offsite recycle bins at important events such as Blessing of the Fleet. Their efforts led to the first-ever financial partnership between Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority.

Keep Golden Isles Beautiful is extremely grateful and fortunate that Rick and Sharon decided to call their community home. Keep Golden Isles Beautiful honored the couple with the Environmental Steward of the Year Award earlier in the year. 

“They are two of our most dedicated and reliable volunteers, spending countless hours assisting staff with special projects and picking up litter,” said Keep Golden Isles Beautiful Executive Director Lea King-Badyna.