KEEPING IT CLEAN
Local group helps youths give back to community
About a dozen local young residents spent part of their weekend giving back to their community by picking up trash and litter Saturday in four Texarkana, Ark., residential areas.
During this community cleanup, Bridging the Gaps of Arkansas, a local youth leadership development group of people from ages 8 to 25, divided into two teams. These teams spent about four to five hours clearing trash and litter from residential yards in and around the East 12th Street and Beech Street intersection and along the East 12th Street and East 16th Street intersections with Laurel Street.
Team members then took the trash and disposed of it in garbage dumpsters directly west of the Sandflat-GlendaleShannon Neighborhood Center’s parking lot.
Barbara Pitts-Riley, a managing partner for Bridging the Gaps of Arkansas, said if the event can be a yearly tradition, mid-September might be a good, consistent scheduling month for the project, mostly because of the generally good seasonal weather.
Pitts-Riley said that in April and May, the group worked with 20 to 30 college students, faculty members and college staff from Texas A&M UniversityTexarkana in a similar community service project. This project involved cleaning up parking lots, planting flowers, trimming trees and picking up litter on neighboring streets in and around residential yards and business buildings in the SandflatGlendale neighborhood area.
Pitts-Riley’s husband, Johnny Riley, who helped organize and direct the weekend event, said the project creates a sense of community and offers a chance to bring people together for a common cause, giving residents a sense of unity, friendship, identity and purpose.
“A lot of people would like to help make their community a better place to live, but they just don’t know where to start or how to fit in,” he said.
“This organization and this event gives them that chance.”
n The Sandflat-Glendale-Shannon Neighborhood Center and Bridging the Gaps of Arkansas hosted a community cleanup Saturday morning.
n About a dozen local young residents took part in the neighborhood cleanup Saturday.