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Churches can clean up in Suffolk

Keep Suffolk Beautiful, the organization that works to, well, keep the city beautiful by organizing litter-pick-up campaigns and river cleanup days, has challenged the city’s churches to get involved in the effort to beautify Suffolk by setting up teams to adopt a road, park or other public space and then to challenge another church to do the same.

This isn’t the kind of ministry most area churches are used to, but it’s an excellent way for them to show they’re involved in the community and to do a little outreach at the same time.

So far, five churches have taken up the challenge, including Oakland Christian UCC, Pentecostal Followers of Christ and Suffolk Church of God. Bethlehem Christian Church and St. Paul’s Baptist Church also are working together on the challenge.

The only requirement for the challenge is for a church to schedule and complete a litter collection on a local street, park or public space and then to send a friendly challenge to a different church to do one as well.

Groups will be provided with grabbers, gloves, bags and safety vests to use while completing their cleanup. Bags and large debris will be collected from the site by Public Works following the challenge.

“We hope it will be fun and rewarding,” said Kathy Russell, spokeswoman for Keep Suffolk Beautiful. “Churches are leaders in the community, so we thought they would make a strong partner for environmental stewardship in the fight against litter.”

We’d like to see more churches involved in this effort. This particular challenge runs through Nov. 19, but organizers hope to run it again next year. And any individual, group or organization is always welcome to conduct a community cleanup. There are plenty of places around Suffolk that need this kind of help.

Call 514-7604 or email littercontrol@suffolkva.us for more information.