Teaming up to Help Neighbors

By Steve Jordan

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The objective of the East Lake Initiative Green Team is for volunteers to partner with young men from the community to provide opportunities for neighborhood cleanup, assisting elderly or disabled residents with landscape maintenance, and mowing vacant or abandoned properties and overgrown common areas.

The Green Team completed its inaugural work season on August 1, 2017.  Six young men participated at various times during the eight total work days, completing a total of 34 jobs.  The completed jobs included 20 for elderly/shut-ins, 7 abandoned properties, 2 community properties, and 5 for properties owned by ELI.

Each weekly work day began at 8:30 a.m. and concluded at 12:30 p.m., followed by lunch for the Team Members and volunteers.  While all Team Members volunteered their time to the Green Team, rewards were provided based on participation level during the season.

This inaugural season included both highlights and challenges.  Highlights included Team Members learning to safely operate commercial-grade lawn maintenance power equipment, the opportunity to assist elderly and shut-in residents of the community who are unable to maintain their lawns, helping improve the East Lake community by cleaning up both community and abandoned/neglected properties, and the excitement of being interviewed by a local TV news station.  

Challenges included the theft of a piece of power equipment from the lawn trailer during a work session.  This challenge, however, turned into a blessing when the responding local police officers proposed partnering with the Green Team next season.

We are grateful for the availability of the lawn care equipment acquired with donations from the Christ Church family, for the fact that the jobs were completed safely, and for the young men who volunteered their time to improve the East Lake community.

If you are interested in being a Green Team volunteer in spring/summer 2018, please contact us.