Inspired by the hordes of neighbors who turned out last year to trim trees, paint or mend fences and pick up trash throughout their community, organizers of the second annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors, set for Saturday, are expanding their efforts this year with an alleyway cleanup.
The Central Point Police Department will spearhead the alleyway project from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting at the police station, 155 S. Second St., Central Point.
The event features cleanups around town all day, with neighbors helping others and sharing their efforts on Facebook and Instagram. Crater High School students will participate.
The event will culminate with a no-host lunch at Bobbio's Pizza.
Police Chief Kris Allison said the added component of the alleyway cleanup would provide a focus for groups who don't have neighbors with specific tasks they need help with and for those who might not feel comfortable about knocking on doors.
"We just wanted to offer a more formulated project where people can come, even if maybe they don't necessarily know their neighbors," said Allison.
"A lot of people feel like, the world we live in, people are more timid about wanting to just go up to people they don't know. With the support of our police department, I'm hoping people will feel like they can be involved and engage with their neighbors."
The neighborhood cleanup effort was spearheaded last year by Debbie Saxbury, who coordinates the community Facebook page "What's Happening Around Town."
The original intent — neighbors offering to help do good deeds for others in their community — is the same this year.
Saxbury said she looked forward to neighborly concern becoming "an everyday thing and not just an annual event."
The social media element is new.
"We're encouraging people to take photos of themselves and put them up on Instagram," Allison said. "We thought it would be fun to see what everyone got done."
Those who post on Instagram can use the hashtag NeighborsHelpingNeighborsCP.
— Reach Medford freelance writer Buffy Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org.