WEST PALM BEACH – Whoops and hollers filled the air on the corner of Tamarind Avenue and Adams Street: a group of kids showing just how excited they were to give back to their community.
Kids of all ages worked alongside Urban Youth Impact to clean up the neighborhood where they grew up: the Northend of West Palm Beach.
“I grew up here; ever since I was a baby,” said Kailah. “I used to love playing outside, but of course there was a problem with all this trash outside.”
Kids collected anything that would fit inside their trash bags, including metal cans, old newspapers, wrappers, fast food containers, cigarette butts, even a liquor bottle.
“Just trying to stay motivated,” said Sam. “Even though it’s hot!”
“It is so awesome seeing them, and their attitudes about it,” said one neighbor, spotting the clean-up crew. “They are in like great spirits about it. I love it! I love it!”
The neighborhood has long needed a transformation or revitalization.
In the last six months, there have been 73 drug and alcohol related offenses in the Northend of West Palm Beach, according to crime mapping data from the West Palm Beach Police Dept.
The group of middle and high school aged kids hope this is the beginning of a new look for their community.
“If a neighborhood is very clean, some people might say, ‘Oh, I want to come back to this neighborhood again, it looked very fun,’” said Vincent.
The group of volunteers didn’t just pick up trash. They also pulled weeds out of people’s yards, built a fence and even did part of a bathroom renovation.