Volunteers clean up Sikeston properties - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Volunteers clean up Sikeston properties

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -

A number of properties needing cleaned up in Sikeston got just that on Saturday. 

Some homes were needing tore down while other places had overgrown with vegetation.

So over a hundred people and dozens of churches set out to make a difference. 

The event is called "Change the World." A lot of volunteers are high school students that take classes at the Sikeston Career and Technology Center.

We caught up with them on Delmar Street where they and other volunteers were cleaning up debris and vegetation at a garden. 

"It looks so good. It was a mess to start out with and then everyone comes together and they help it," Diana Shoemaker said. "It's just outstanding."

The garden belongs to a resident that used to grow vegetables and give them to people that needed them. 

"Just to see that hope that she was giving back. She wants to give and she wasn't able to because everything grew up around her home," Gloria Houston said.

"And for us to be able to give that hope back, that just means everything."

The neighboring property had trees that fell during the 2009 ice storm.

These trees and branches laid there untouched for six years. Since then, they too have been overgrown with vegetation. 

Volunteers used chainsaws and machetes to cut through the vegetation.

They then sorted it in large piles near the road to be hauled off. 

Gloria Houston is a Health Occupations Instructor at the Sikeston Career and Technology Center. She says this not only helps out people with these properties but also children's mindset growing up. 

"These kids are the kids that come to our classroom," Houston said. "We try to educate to help them get an education and be great citizens one day. So if we can instill that hope when they're with us, that's the better students we're going to have. So there we can change the world one kid at a time hopefully."

Volunteers cleaned up these two properties along with dozens more in Sikeston. One volunteer we spoke with says she knows how it's like to live in difficult times and is great to know these people get a fresh start again with their property. 

Neighbors weren't shy showing their support either. Children came out and offered the volunteers drinks. Other neighbors were busy cooking in their kitchen and brought out hot food for the ones that helped clean up their property. 

"This is great!" shouted one resident. "Look at those children have a great time here," another resident stated. 

While volunteers cleaned up, the area on Delmar Street exploded with kindness.

Across the street from the properties being cleaned up, dozens of children and parents came out to say thank you, to bring food and drinks and play games with the volunteers. 

One police officer volunteering his time helped start up a game of red rover in which about two dozen children and adults participated in. 

Many say Sikeston has been in a bad light recently with numerous shootings and crimes. Volunteers say it's part of the reason why they are cleaning up. 

"People need to show, help each other more and allow to put a smile on someone's face," Lauren Phillips from Oran said. "It makes me feel good to know that they're able to run around and play now and they elderly are able to work in their gardens because everything's cleaned up."

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