VOL. 111 | NO. 211 | Monday, November 10, 1997
Hands On Memphis is seeking volunteers for its Day of Community Healing on Nov
Hands On Memphis seeks volunteers for cleanup project
By CAMILLE H. GAMBLE
The Daily News
Hands On Memphis is seeking volunteers for its Day of Community Healing on Nov. 22, an effort to spruce up the city by clearing brush and weeds from vacant lots; picking up trash, broken glass and litter; and painting over graffiti.
The event will be held at six areas in the western half of the city with multiple work sites in some areas. The cleanup will be held from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., with a victory party held following from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Ken Hall, executive director of Hands On Memphis, said the event evolved from a meeting with the new Memphis/Shelby County Crime Commission.
"They've come in and tried to really organize a lot of the different law enforcement and legal agencies in town, and they approached us about helping with a cleanup," Hall said. "The theory being that broken windows and graffiti and high weeds show neglect, which in turn sends a message that people don't care and its OK to hang out and use a site like that as a base for criminal activity."
Hall said Hands On Memphis met with Ken Moody of the Mayor's Citizen Service Center to see what kinds of complaints there have been.
"He's got lists and lists of people who have called and said, 'This is going on in my neighborhood,' and 'That's going on in my neighborhood.'"
Hall said while driving around and meeting some of the people in the neighborhoods, citizens would point out specific lots that needed attention.
"There was no need for us to look at the town and tell somebody their neighborhood needs fixing up, there were plenty of people who had called in and reported specific sites.
"Really, we are addressing needs that have been identified by residents.
There are six areas that will be cleaned - Binghampton, Orange Mound, Mallory Heights, Westwood, Klondyke and Glenview.
"Within each of those areas we will clean two or three sites," Hall said.
He said the goal is to secure about 300 volunteers by Nov. 14.
"We are about half way there, now," Hall said.
Hands on Memphis is looking for adult volunteers due to the scope of work in this particular project and the types of tools that will be used.
"If we get anybody 16 to 18 we will take them as long as they are with an adult," he said.
Hands on Memphis will borrow tools from the Housing and Community Development office and City Beautiful.
BellSouth, which is a cash sponsor, has allowed Hands on Memphis to purchase the tools that are still needed.
"The importance of that investment is that we will be able to use those tools for years to come," Hall said. "We know we won't accomplish a whole lot if we go in one time and clean up. What we are trying to do is establish some relationships with some of the neighborhood groups."
Sponsoring organizations of the event are BellSouth, City of Memphis, Memphis Police Department, Memphis/Shelby County Crime Commission and Hands on Memphis.