THOMASVILLE, N.C. – It's not everyone's ideal Saturday morning, waking up early to clean up after strangers, but it's what Nathan Smith does.
“Litter can affect everything from the economy of the community, to the tourism of a community,” he said.
He's part of Thomasville's Beautification Committee. They are trying to help clean up downtown. On the second Saturday of every month, volunteers get together at the clock tower to start picking up after others.
“Keeping our streets clean and keeping our town looking good with the flowers and keeping the litter off the streets, it helps us foster an environment where new businesses may want to come in to, tourists may want to come visit,” he said.
Those efforts are not going unnoticed. William Rainey has owned his barber shop downtown for seven years. He says the cleanup is making a big difference.
“To bring businesses back into town I think this is important because they want to be able to walk up and down around town and see what’s going on,” Rainey said.
Now it's about getting this effort to spread.
“It’s tough for a crew of five to six people to cover an entire town,” Smith said.
He wants more people to catch on and help pick up across the entire town.
“I notice trash everywhere I go now. So, we’re just trying to make people aware so they’ll pick up trash around the streets or even in their own neighborhood,” he said.
After just one clean up, about a half a dozen volunteers picked up eight big bags of trash. That's just from about four hours of work on a couple of blocks.
Thomasville's Beautfication Committee meets on the second Saturday of every month.