Michal Zigo is the renaissance man of volunteering. He can be found at the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, Household Hazardous Waste Collection, park and stream clean-ups or Parks and Rec events. “I am the type of person who finds manual work soothing and relaxing,” Zigo said. “As a researcher I mostly conduct intellectual work, therefore I don’t get to do a lot of work with my hands.”
The City of Columbia Volunteer Programs considers themselves lucky to have him. “He has great leadership skills and brings a lot of personal experience and interest to everything,” said Jody Cook, a Volunteer Programs Specialist.
As a trained Recycling Ambassador, Michal helps with many education projects on waste reduction and recycling, whether it’s tabling events, picking up litter or helping with children’s activities.
One of Michal’s most memorable volunteering experiences was cleaning up along Rock Quarry scenic road and filling an entire truck with litter. “The saddest part for me was that when I drove by two weeks later, it was littered again,” he said.
Michal approaches his volunteering experiences with an international lens and therefore finds meeting new and interesting people one of the best parts about volunteering in the community. He is from Slovakia and then attended school in Czech Republic. “There are not as many volunteering opportunities at home,” Zigo said. He encourages everyone to volunteer when they can.
Written by Volunteer Laura Davis