Cleveland resident and community volunteer, Jeremy Quirk, and members of the Cleveland State Community College Women's Basketball Team joined together on Saturday, April 7, to complete the first of a series of Downtown Cleveland volunteer clean-up efforts planned by Mr. Quirk. He took the personal initiative to randomly perform some basic litter clean-up in his neighborhood and in a section of the downtown area, with just a five-gallon bucket and a “picker” stick.
With equipment loans and donations from Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful (brooms, rakes, water), Cleveland Home Depot (trash bags) and Elder’s Ace Hardware (weed pickers), Mr.
Quirk has gradually expanded his attention to other downtown areas.
Sherry Keller Brown, Downtown Cleveland resident and business owner, noticed Mr. Quirk’s downtown efforts and made Dr. William Seymour, president of Cleveland State, aware of the opportunity for students to join in on the initiative.
When Cleveland State's Women's Basketball Head Coach Evelyn Thompson was asked for volunteers to help with the clean-up project, she was quick to share the request with her team. Ebony Kelley (project lead), Britnay Gore, Jordan Smith, CyCy White and Assistant Coach Shameca Gardner were quick to respond.
“Our Women's basketball team is always ready to be involved in projects that help our community,” stated Coach Thompson. “We have a group of young women who are positive role models. Projects like this give us an opportunity to be visible. Our philosophy is to be committed to and in support of our community, so that we can get that same support. I am so proud of the team for stepping up and offering help.”
As a result of the City’s decision to revitalize the downtown area, Mr. Quirk decided to focus all volunteer groups’ efforts on cleaning First Street (from Ocoee to Edwards). He chose First Street because that area has been identified as an entertainment corridor in the City's Downtown revitalization plan.
Mr. Quirk’s community stewardship project is designed to enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity of the downtown area through regular, quality clean-up. He believes there are many benefits to the clean-up project. "In addition to fostering community pride by residents and guests, the clean-up effort will build on a culture that discourages littering and the citizens of Cleveland will have a refreshed landscape ready for new ideas and opportunities," he said.
The Cleveland State basketball players and coaches said they were pleased to participate in the clean-up effort with Mr. Quirk and they, along with other Cleveland State students, look forward to volunteering in the future.
Mr. Quirk appreciatively calls the group of similarly interested volunteers, “The Cleveland Pickers.”
All community members are invited to become a “picker” and are encouraged to contact Jeremy Mr. Quirk at email@example.com for future dates and locations.