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Have You Ever Thought… Who will help us make a difference in the appearance of our community?

March 19, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Someone has said that two people are responsible for litter.  The one who thoughtlessly created it and the one who passes it by.  Our challenge is to find out how we can make our community look better to both those visiting and those who live here.   It is not enough to be careful with what one does with their own litter, but how we can help clean up the litter that others create.

The Great American Cleanup for 2017 comes to our area this coming Saturday, March 25, as Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful sponsors a day to make a difference.   You and your friends, neighbors, co-workers, school mates are challenged to form a team and join in the effort to clean up our community. Don’t have a team?  Come anyway, individuals are always welcomed.

The day starts next Saturday at 9 a.m.   We will gather and register at the Longhorn Steakhouse of Covington, located on Highway 278at 6112 Pavilion Way.   It is there that needed supplies will be issued and assignments made.  There will be free biscuits and juice while supplies last.

Free t-shirts will be given to the first 600 to register.  Like, those in most road races, they have to be earned, none will be for sale.  Be a part of the solution for our area and wear your t-shirt with pride.  This will help others become aware of this year’s effort and if they did not participate this year, they may join in next year.

The national effort, The Great American Cleanup, will launch the first day of spring which Is tomorrow, March 20.  Each local affiliate, such as Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful pick the own date for its area.  Saturday was again picked for our area to make it more convenient for more to participate.

Nationally it is expected that more than 20,000 communities will participate in the Great American Cleanup with over five million volunteers and participants involved.  This is the Nineteenth year for the “Great American Clean Up.”  It is a shining example of lasting, positive change that happens when people work together.

The last year that complete statistics are available was 2015.  The effort that year led to 62 million pounds of trash and debris being removed and properly disposed of.  AS you think of this being done year after year we can see the huge impact this has on our nation.  But, of course, the real issue is always local.

Tip O’Neill, who was the only person to ever serve five consecutive terms as Speaker of the House, once said that “all politics is local” meaning in part that what affects our personal world is what really matters.  Locally is where we can get involved.  While millions may be a part of the Great American Cleanup, it is our efforts that will make the difference for Newton County and Covington.  Volunteers are needed here.

Please remember this is a “rain or shine” event.   So whatever the weather, dress appropriately and let us join together to make our local difference.   You are urged to come prepared.  Bring sunscreen, bug repellent and gloves.  It is recommended that you wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.  Thick sole shoes are also recommended.

Of course, you may not be available next Saturday.  But look around and ask yourself what difference I can make in the way our community looks.  But there are advantages in doing it together.  KCNB will have found the places and identified the areas where a hand is needed and volunteers can make a difference.  But the challenge is always more than merely a day.  Make a difference where you can.

Another date being offered by KCNB to help with “spring cleaning” is a shred event on Monday, April 25.

Each person can bring up to five standard boxes of paper documents to be shredded on site.  This not only disposes of some potential litter but gives the security needed.  The event will be at the Newton County Library in the side parking lot.  

If you need more information about the local Great American Cleanup on March 25 go to www.kcnb.biz.  Closer to the shred event to there to find the exact hours.

B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.

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