Sam Ewing, a professional baseball player of the 1970s, said it best: “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”
On Nov. 11, a dozen people on a mission chose to turn up their sleeves for the Fall Litter Challenge sponsored by Orangeburg County Litter Control. The Mission Team, part of the Columbia Church of Christ, assembled at Ebony Jones’ house to prepare. Before braving the low temperatures and sharp winds of that Saturday morning, the 12 members hunkered down in Jones’ home, where they gathered around a spread of finger foods. They snacked and laughed together, storing as much warmth as possible before heading out to brave the Orangeburg roads.
Jones, asked why she was about to walk for miles picking up trash on one of the coldest mornings this year, said, “We are planting a church here, and one of the things we wanted to do is get more involved in the community. So, we decided to volunteer for the litter challenge.”
This was Jones' third time hosting a Litter Challenge this year.
“I think the first time we did it, we had a little more people -- about 20. We had a lot of campus students from State and USC in Columbia,” she said.
Jones had a simple hope for the Nov. 11 Litter Challenge pickup.
“I hope that people seeing us out in the community picking up litter will encourage other neighborhoods and communities to go out and do the same thing where they live,” she said.
After everyone arrived, the group gathered litter bags, pulled on gloves and and headed out to make a difference in the community. To Dale McLendon of Orangeburg, it was “all about serving."
“This is home for me, and any opportunity I can get to work with a group of committed people to make a difference in our community, I’m sold out," she said. "When we can deny ourselves for the sake of others, it makes an incredible difference.”
Brett Caswell of Columbia said he was glad to participate in the cleanup.
“Glad to be a part of the community. Community spirit,” he said.
Thirteen-year-old Joseph Caswell of Columbia, said of the Litter Challenge, “It’s a very good thing to do. No one really wants to have a lot of trash around. It affects the environment. So, I think doing this is a good way to help it.”
The Mission Team began Saturday’s Litter Challenge at Riverbank Drive and Hodges and ended at Morningside of Orangeburg. The group hopes to find other members of the community to join them for worship and future litter pickups.
For more information about the group, contact Ebony Jones at 704-352 3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.