April is National Volunteer Month. The purpose is to celebrate the work that volunteers do year round. There are many in West Columbia who give freely of their time to make their home a better place.
In the middle of National Volunteer Month, the City of West Columbia, with the West Columbia Beautification Foundation, the Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees, Keep the Midlands Beautiful, and PalmettoPride, is hosting a city-wide litter pick-up event this Saturday, April 17, 2021, from 9 a.m. until noon.
Volunteers will meet at West Columbia City Hall, 200 N. 12th St.
Volunteers are asked to bring pick-up sticks, gloves, and a vest, if available. If not, they will be provided. Sign-up in advance at: http://bit.ly/LitterPickup
West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles said volunteers are the cornerstone of the community.
Miles said he is proud of the response the city has received for the city-wide litter pick-up, Saturday.
“We are expecting around 240 volunteers for the litter pick-up on our streets and public areas, Saturday. A lot of the good things that get done to make West Columbia a better place to live are done by people who take their time to contribute to a better city,” Miles said. “Volunteers are our backbone. We could not get by without them. The job they do is very important.”
Kathy Whetzel is participating. She is the chairwoman of the West Columbia Beautification Foundation. She has been a volunteer with the WCBF for five years.
“We want to make our city look better,” said Whetzel. She and her husband Rob own Whetzel’s Automotive Repair. Whetzel said a lot of new businesses are coming in and West Columbia is more welcoming when it’s cleaned up.
“People like to see a clean environment,” she said. “It makes everyone feel better.”
Whetzel also said there will be many younger participants in the city’s Litter pick-up day, Saturday, and that’s good. “It’s a chance to educate younger volunteers on the importance of litter prevention,” Whetzel said.
Resident Connie Vaughn conducts volunteer litter pick-ups throughout the year. Miles hauls off what her crews pick up.
Members of West Columbia City Council also volunteer their time to help make their community better.
“My thought is that if you can help someone in need, then you should,” said Councilman Mickey Pringle. He helps out when he can. “Since I retired, every Monday I pick up food bags for seven seniors and on Fridays I deliver food bags to 9 kids for the weekend,” he said.
“I believe it is important to volunteer; it allows us to see other people in need and get out of our comfort zone,” said Councilman Mike Green. “It forces us to focus on other people and not only our needs. There are many ways to volunteer in our city if you want to. It can be encouraging to start today with only an hour a week.”
Green said he lends his time to the Grace Baptist Church bus ministry. The bus picks up 10-to-15 kids each week. Green also volunteers for the Communities, the chess club at Pine Ridge Middle School and a monthly trash pick up.
West Columbia’s Litter Pick-Up Day features volunteers from church groups, scout troops and businesses, including:
- Schnabel Engineering, LLC
- Rainbow Circle Neighborhood
- City of West Columbia Wellness Committee
- HireQuest Direct
- Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church Youth Group
- Total Quality Logistics
- LEAD Team
- Keep the Midlands Beautiful
- West Columbia Beautification Foundation
- Boy Scout Troop 331, Mount Hebron UMC
- Girl Scout Troop 1279
- Holland Avenue Baptist Church
- Will Lou Gray School
- West Columbia Tigers
- New Hope Leadership Academy