COMMERCE, MO (KFVS) - At a young age, longtime Commerce, Missouri resident Donna Patterson spent time at the Anderson Cemetery.
It was there she went to clear her head, and enjoy the beauty of the cemetery. It dates to the early 1800s.
As the years passed by, the cemetery began to decay. Fences that once surrounded families were browned by rust, headstones were cracked and destroyed by trees, and the grass started to be overgrown.
"I feel like with these graves being broken that they need to be fixed," Patterson said. "We need to respect our dead. I feel like in order to do that we all have to come together as a community."
Six weeks ago, Patterson decided to change things. Through fundraising efforts, she raised $1,100 to try and turn things around. Since then, Patterson has made the road to the cemetery more accessible, cleared overgrown trees and brought headstones back to the surface.
"I don't see this as work," Patterson said. "When I'm here I feel at peace. When I leave I really feel like I have accomplished something."
Patterson hopes to continue fundraising efforts to try and make the cemetery a place for families to visit and enjoy not only the beauty of the graves but also that of nature.
"It's a beautiful place," Patterson said. "It's just been neglected and we're wanting to change that."