Last year's "Clean Sweep," a city-wide clean-up event sponsored by Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street, was swept away. The skies opened, the water rose (including over the sidewalk on the east side of the square) --- and no one complained. We needed rain that much.
This year's event, renamed "Chariton Cares" and expanded to two days of cooperative effort involving several churches, Chamber/Main Street and the city, is going much better.
This will be a day of service for some of the churches, First United Methodist Church will serve chili from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the annual Crop Walk to fight world hunger will begin at First Methodist at 1:30.
Then the line-up for marching orders. Some worked the square itself and the alleys surrounding it, picking up rubbish, cutting weeds and hacking away at volunteer trees and shrubs; others headed for Bingham Park in northwest Chariton. The grounds of the Chariton Public Library received special attention.
This group focused on overgrowth surrounding an underutilized old church building northeast of the square.
And nearby, this group focused on an alley.
The number of workers varied depending upon location and time of day, but perhaps 30 volunteers were involved.
And at 11 a.m., thanks to First United Methodist Church, lunch was served near the gazebo.
Saturday morning was an extended version of monthly clean-up sessions sponsored by the Design Division of Chamber/Main Street. Those events, however, usually begin at 6 a.m. It was great to start at a more wide-awake hour --- and have food and additional hands, too.