We all know how hard it is to keep our homes clean and presentable enough to open up our doors for those unexpected visitors, yet we do our best and strive for cleanliness. So why would our town, which we call home be any different? When I welcome visitors from out of town to my hometown I want them to see it in all its glory, just as I do every time I step outside my door. I want nature to flourish, I just want our world to…SPARKLE! And that is exactly why “Keeping Sanford Sparkling” was created.
Anyone can come up with a plan or an idea, but it’s not until it’s brought to life that things start to happen. And things have really started to happen within our community thanks to John DiDonna, Zach Waters, Paul Williams and all of the fantastic volunteers who put aside one weekend morning a month and commit to cleaning the streets of Sanford. If you live, work or play in Sanford and consider our little town to be your home or home away from home then you’ll appreciate this beautiful group as much as I do for keeping our streets sparkling and presentable for expected and unexpected visitors…i.e. keeping Sanford constantly presentable for those who live and visit our beloved Sanford.
Volunteers showed up in all different forms…kids, parents, business owners, friends, couples and they all shared the same mission…pick up what’s been left behind and create unity within our community and can I just say they all do it with such fantastic attitudes!
As John and Zach lead the group’s meeting this particular morning I watched as everyone grabbed their gloves, garbage bags, garbage grabbers and listened intently to the areas that needed the most care. Every single person was there because they wanted to be, and it showed. As groups were formed and everyone broke off into different locations, I followed the crew that stayed in Downtown Sanford and chatted with a few of the volunteers who were in the midst of creating a competition for who could collect the most garbage. Bottles, t-shirts, receipts, cigarettes (oh the cigarettes), boxes, plastic, shoes, T-shirts, paper, you name it, they found it!
As I mentioned above the group was versatile and I loved chatting with those that I followed around for the morning. The Center of Wellness Owners Jennifer and Brian brought their two kids and made it a family event; Daniel, creator of the Sanford-opoly, brought his son and daughter who love joining their Dad in community service; Inner Compass Brewing co-owner Dylan doesn’t live in Sanford but takes pride in where his business resides and has committed to keeping Sanford clean from the first meeting; Grace who grew up in Sanford, but no longer lives in the state and just happened to be in the area for this cleanup joined in as she still feels that Sanford is home (and: Grace and I found out that we are neighbors)! It was absolutely refreshing to chat and laugh with this spectacular group who is not only keeping Sanford sparkling, but sparkling themselves! I can’t wait to trade my camera in for a garbage bag for next month’s cleanup!
Volunteers are always needed, so if you know a specific area that needs some extra love and want to connect with others in the community please visit the Sanford Community Cleanup “Keeping Sanford Sparkling” and join their Facebook page for upcoming dates and information. If you do not have Facebook and have questions you can contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Sanford is large and the group does its very best to pinpoint the areas needing the most love, so if you see an area that is not getting the attention it needs, pull together a group and join as there can never be too much help.
If you can’t make the group on the days they get together call some friends, take a walk through your neighborhood, invite those new neighbors you’ve been meaning to introduce yourself to and make a fun evening out of it, heck, get the kids involved and make a game out of it and throw in a few silly prizes. It’s all about community and we are all a part of it.
I feel a simple Thank You does not suffice what you are all doing, but THANK YOU for taking time out of your busy lives to set a good example for the rest of us!