This letter was submitted to LebTown. Read our submission policy here.

Over the past three months, a group of people in our community have taken the time to clean up the City of Lebanon.

On the second Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m., community members have gathered in different city locations to clean, enhance, and dignify our public space.

The goal of these community cleanups is to gather people from all walks of life to care for the community and take ownership of the environment around them. We put our world views aside and join together for the same purpose – to make our community a better place for everyone.

This idea began within the concept that “context matters.” Studies show that communities in which the environment is cared for, cleaned, and protected, improve socially and economically. This care brings down crime and attracts investors to develop projects within those communities. In order to motivate people to invest in our community, we must create the environment that we want. Our children must see our example of caring about the place we live in and the people who live here with us. 

Although it is difficult to see a place we clean refill with trash, it is vitally important to keep pressing forward. Eventually, this work will transform the culture. We will move from “I don’t care” to embracing the understanding that “We must care.” Then we will all reap the benefits of that transformation.

We invite everyone in the community to join us in this important ongoing initiative. It will continue on the second Saturday of every month. It is here to stay. This will be part of Lebanon’s legacy – a unique community where the residents go above and beyond to care for it. We will set an example for the counties around us. We welcome you. We want you to be part of this beautiful and worthwhile process of caring about context. Context matters. Lebanon matters. Let’s continue our journey to become a unified community that puts aside differences and joins together for the same purpose.

To find more information about the community cleanups go to our Facebook page “Lebanon cleanup crew” and stay updated with upcoming events.

Amauary Abreu is an aspiring entrepreneur and social activist who lives in Lebanon.

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