KAB setting its summer focus on volunteers
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG, Banner Staff Writer
Jun 28, 2013 | 684 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With local children being out of school for the summer, Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful has temporarily turned its attention away from educating students about issues like recycling and toward organizing opportunities for people to help clean up around the community.

At the organization’s most recent board meeting, the group’s executive director, Joanne Maskew, said the group has hosted about 50 volunteers from both local and out-of-state groups for three different cleanup projects during the month of June.

Visiting volunteers from Student Life in Macon, Ga., and Petal, Miss., assisted KAB in removing more than 2.5 tons of garbage, brush and other debris from 10 different properties June 4-6 and 24-26. Student Life is a Christian organization that hosts summer camps and conferences for youth. This summer, the Lee University campus has been serving as a location for some of the camp sessions, which can include trips to volunteer within the communities where the camps are located.

KAB’s most recent “Treasure and Trash” community cleanup event in Cleveland’s College Hill neighborhood also saw several volunteers from the Aldersgate Garden Club and 100 Black Men of Bradley County helping.

“We have done amazing,” Maskew said of the volunteer efforts.

The areas KAB has been helping clean up have either been neglected properties in need of care or properties of people who cannot adequately take care of them, Maskew said.

In one instance, there was a foreclosure property with “grass higher than that door frame,” she said as she pointed to the door of the meeting room.

Another project took place outside the home of a man whose wife had been battling bone cancer, leaving him with little time to care for the yard because of needing to focus his attention on his wife’s needs.

“That’s the kind of people we try to help,” Maskew said.

In addition to June’s prior projects, another opportunity for people to help clean up Bradley County will take place this Saturday in Charleston from 9 a.m. to noon. More cleanup events are set to take place throughout the remainder of the year, with the exact dates still to be announced.

Also at the meeting, KAB president Shari Horton announced the most recent businesses to receive the chapter’s monthly Business Beautification award. The winner for the month of June was Davis Heating and Air, and the winner for July will be Cleveland’s Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop location. The award is given to businesses that consistently keep their properties clean and, of course, “beautiful.”

The chapter’s board also discussed various upcoming fundraising projects, including yard sale and pancake breakfast events scheduled for this fall.

For more information about joining or volunteering with KAB, call 559-9789 or visit http://www.clevelandbradleykab.com.