By promoting a neighborhood clean-up event through campus clubs, off-campus recovery groups and faculty support, the Spanish Club and Associated Students rallied about 180 volunteers to the Logan Heights Community on Nov. 14.
Starting at 9a.m., Logan Heights Neighborhood Council member Martha Zapata quickly began dividing the volunteers into teams that would be assigned to different sections of the area.
Some were assigned to clean up the sidewalks while others drove around picking up furniture and filled trash bags that neighborhood residents had left outside for disposal.
Three large trash dumpsters were stationed at the volunteers’ makeshift headquarters. This central area, which also held supplies, drinks and food, quickly filled up before 11am; a sign indicative of all the volunteers’ cleaning efforts.
Indeed, a very diverse crowd of volunteers were in attendance. Some were City College students; others arrived alongside their recovery groups and others were locals looking to help out their community.
“I am a great advocate of environmental awareness so I believed that by promoting the involvement of others it would be a great opportunity.” Beto Vasquez, Spanish Club president, said.
Many of the volunteers were seasoned community activists. In fact, some recovery groups had already worked with each other at previous events. Volunteer Debi Schwartz, part of Goodrich Services, had been invited to “The Big Clean-up” while volunteering at a “Christmas in October” event.
“Everyone loves (helping): food drives, toy drives, extreme makeovers for homes,” Schwartz said. “Everyone loves coming out here and helping people.”
Other groups that part-took in the clean-up were college clubs such as MESA, POSSE, Amnesty, EOPS, Peace Dialogue Group and Miramar College AS, “Nosotros;” and also church groups, business groups, Logan Heights Neighborhood Council, Urban Corps of San Diego, Border Angels, and Undisputed boxing club.
Many locals drove around looking confused by all the commotion, staring at all the people walking around cleaning up their neighborhood.
“I’m very glad. It’s helpful for us,” Maria Vargas, a Logan Heights resident, said. “It’s a contribution to us. I needed it.”
Some even walked out of their homes and approached the volunteers, asking if they wanted any drinks or sodas.
Overall, Vasquez said ‘the clean up was a success.’ He attributes a lot of help to the event sponsors such as Council Member Ben Hueso, Waste Management, Diego & Son Printing, Calvary Baptist Church, Home Depot, Porkyland and others.
“We accomplished a great deal, however, there is still so much to be done,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez added that he plans on hosting other community clean-ups in the future.