Volunteers prepare for Saturday one-day neighborhood makeover
April 8, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 7, 2010 at 11:08 p.m.
Thomas Yantis enjoys the selfless act of volunteerism.
The clean up this Saturday with Keep Victoria Beautiful's Great King Oliver Cleanup project is just another one of those acts, Yantis said.
"It's not about myself. It has nothing to do with me," the Victoria resident said. "If I was volunteering for myself, it would be called work."
Yantis is just one of the at least 200 volunteers who will help with the annual project for the King Oliver neighborhood, which is between Navarro and Laurent streets and Rio Grande and North streets.
More than half of the residents in the neighborhood must fall below the federal poverty line to be considered by the city of Victoria Development Services for the one-day makeover.
Volunteers will improve the quality of life by removing graffiti, building handicap accessible ramps, painting homes, planting flowers and removing litter.
Last year, Keep Victoria Beautiful made over the Lone Tree Acres neighborhood, said Executive Director Joni Brown.
That major project had at least 15 little projects within it and 29 tons of trash were picked up, she said.
This year there are at least 22 little projects, she said.
"This neighborhood was chosen because it is a wonderful generational neighborhood. A lot of elderly and handicapped live there and those people can't always maintain their property," she said. "We're giving neighbors a hand up, not a hand out."
Residents always show appreciation and gratitude toward volunteers, she said.
Yantis will lead the painting group, he said.
Three houses will be painted, he added.
"In 20 years most people will have forgotten my personal achievements," he said. "But your volunteering and helping won't ever be forgotten. It's something bigger than you are."