The Mansfield, Ohio, News-Journal this morning carries the following story about the Woodville Grace Brethren Church, Ron Smals, pastor. In the photo Karla Konzel and Nikki Stone help with the Grace Brethren Church cleanup Saturday on Woodville Road. JAMI KINTON/NEWS JOURNAL PHOTO
Grace Brethren Church members clean up Woodville Road in Mansfield
By JAMI KINTON
MANSFIELD — The weather wasn’t beautiful, but members of the Woodville Grace Brethren Church wanted to make sure their neighborhood is.
Despite a steady downpour Saturday, 30 volunteers armed with trash bags walked the length of Woodville Road, from Cook Road to Diamond Street, as part of the national Great American Cleanup.
“We got a letter that this was Earth Month, and we decided we wanted to help clean up our community,” the Rev. Ron Smals said. “We’re very community-oriented, and we really wanted to do something to make this neighborhood nice.”
Volunteers, ranging from age 4 to 82, split into groups to cover the road.
“We really found out who our dedicated people are,” Smals said. “Our goal was to invite neighbors outside working back to our church afterward for hot dogs and hamburgers but, unfortunately, I don’t see many outside today.”
Amber McWatters, 12, said she was enjoying the work.
“I actually like picking trash up,” she said. “It’s kind of gross, but I don’t mind. God wanted me to do this. I like getting wet and everything.”
McWatters said the rain made the trash heavier.
“Someone found a phone book, but had to put it down because the pages were so heavy,” she said.
Hannah Holmes, 10, said the first thing she wanted to do when she got home was jump into the shower.
“I picked up some cigarette butts,” she said. “That was gross, but I’m here to do this for God and for my community.”
“We hope this will benefit the neighbors on Woodville Road,” Karen Broach said.
Aside from the cleanup, Youth Pastor Josh Howlett said he enjoyed splashing in the puddles.
“I’ve seen a lot of people looking out their windows at us,” he said. “I’m sure they probably think we’re crazy, but we’re all actually having a lot of fun.”