Today, our Neighborhood Transformation Team experienced a major positive shift in influence in our beloved city. It started at the last Initiative meeting Sept. 28th. Chrys Sevic saw Alicia Grindstaff's IIAW group cleaning up I-70 and Sterling overpass last month, and she also saw our posts about the IIAW on NEXT DOOR APP and came to the IIAW monthly meeting wanting to know more and to assist. Out of that conversation, Chrys planned a trail clean up event for today, October 9th, and notifed her neighbors. That's where our clean up team went this morning. Only one neighbor RSVPd to her post. Though discouraged, she said if it was only her and her family, she would move forward. Chrys was in tears to see 17 IIAW volunteers, mostly young LDS missionaries, spill out of their cars and gather round her to help. Alicia Grindstaff was there to support Chry's event as well.
By the time we started on the trail, more of Chrys's neighbors had arrived. Also, Colleen Huff, a candidate for Mayor, showed up to pick up trash with us, and Zach McNulty, a photographer from Independence Parks and Recreation Department appeared to take photos of the event. The word about the IIAW and Chrys's clean up day was mentioned at a city meeting with the Parks and Recreation Department and they asked Zach to report on it. We were 27 in number.
Chrys is on fire for neighborhood clean up, and also helping the Beloveds. This amazing turnout will keep her going forward with confidence with other neighborhood activities. She know she is not alone. Also, the neighbors who showed up to help saw the IIAW in action face to face, one on one. We were able to share our vision. They liked what they heard. I believe they will be future neighborhood leaders who will follow Chrys's lead.
Today showed me our approach in the future. In the past, Brother Dennis Cato and I have scouted trashy areas. I want the IIAW to be a personal blessing to every neighbor who sees this need and wants to DO something to help our town. We want to be a practical encouragement to them, not with just words, but hands and feet help. We will see quick transformation when we engage with people who let us know of problem areas they live with and we send volunteers to help. I want to connect next with Colleen Huff, the Mayoral candidate, who says she lives in a trashy area and is seeking ways to effectively take care of the problem at Hayward, from Willis to Cottage. We can give her and her neighbors the same support that we did for Chyrs Sevic today. This will introduce the IIAW to a much greater population in the community. I also will connect with Chrys's neighbor, April Bradshaw, who needs help at her corner and neighborhood.
We are always looking for good locations to clean up. We do litter and sidewalk edging and weed control. I encourage everyone who receives this post to organize litter patrol groups in your own neighborhoods. If you plan your event for the 2nd Saturday of the month, we will assign volunteers to help you. I just received a new batch of safety green IIAW t-shirts. They are available for $10 each at the Unity Center, 803 W. 23rd Street, during admin hours, 9-2, Monday through Wednesday, 803 W. 23rd Street.
We welcome and interact with all Beloveds who want to be a part of the solution. We have met some of them. Getting rid of trash and shaping up shaggy areas exposes idle vagrants, making them uncomfortable, they move on to more less frequented areas, and our neighborhoods, parks, and trails become safe again for our families. Let's strategize how to include them in the answer.
I love what Chrys and Alicia Grindstaff have done, taking action so quickly and so well organized! They really means business. It's men and women like Chrys and Alicia that will be the cause of total transformation of our city. Who wouldn't want to be part of something like this?!
Thank you all for everything you do for the IIAW. We are making a difference, a big difference!