Hopefully you have read that Sikeston's annual Community Clean-Up Campaign gets underway here beginning April 22 and running through April 30. This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to take advantage of a free disposal week where they can discard items that have become eyesores for far too long.
Unfortunately, those neighborhoods that most need the weeklong clean-up are the least likely to participate. Logic and common sense will tell you that those blighted neighborhoods got that way because of a lack of pride or a lack of assistance needed to help remove limbs, appliances, etc. Either way, the end result is that those areas in the most need are often the ones who fail to take advantage of the city clean-up program.
But I have a solution if anyone is interested. Since we all know that several people are assigned to community service by the courts, why not have those individuals involved in the upcoming clean-up? Now doesn't that make some sense?
Often people end up in court and the judge orders them to perform community service. That community service can involve projects with our Public Works Department or assisting at Mission Missouri. Sometimes, we're told, community service workers help wash fire vehicles or police cars. These are all worthwhile endeavors that allow the individuals to pay their price for the crime they committed.
But we've got a golden opportunity to enlist these community service individuals in an effort that will produce instant and visible results. Assign them to areas where elderly cannot remove eyesores or where the property has just gotten out of hand for the residents. Let them "pay their debt to society" by doing something that can produce benefits for the entire neighborhood to see.
The city will make the compost site available during the entire nine days of the clean-up. That would provide ample opportunity to assign these community service "volunteers" to truly work for the benefit of the community.
And who knows, it might encourage some of them to repeat their work when not ordered by the courts.
Either way, it's worth a try.