What makes a great community? There are many answers to this question. However, from my perspective and professional background, it is the residents who are continually committed to taking action and selflessly serving for the betterment of all that make a community great. I want to take a moment to recognize the Pretzel City Pickers, a group that organized after individuals volunteered at a Greater Freeport Partnership Stephenson County Clean-up event last year. This group of 25+ individuals meet weekly to pick up litter and debris in areas of Freeport where it is most needed. To date, the group has donated countless hours and over 100 bags of trash have been removed from city streets and the public right-of-way. Thank you, Pretzel City Pickers, for caring and beautifying our community! See a recent news story shared of the Pretzel City Pickers.
In the same spirit, April is National Volunteerism month, and we the Partnership has organized a way to contribute – participating in the Stephenson County Clean-up. This weeklong clean-up effort runs April 10-17th. This is an opportunity for individuals, small groups, and families to spend time outdoors doing meaningful work to help the environment and our communities. Volunteers are asked to pick up litter and pull weeds. We will offer clean-up kits (bags and gloves) for anyone needing them. Kits can be picked up Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, at the Partnership office (110 W. Main Street). We ask volunteers to sign-up via this link so, we can track the number of participants. For additional information, please contact our office or visit the clean-up Facebook event.
Additionally, the City of Freeport has an Adopt-a-Street program that promotes groups or individuals to adopt at least one half-mile stretch of street and remove litter and debris at least three times in a calendar year, using City provided trash bags, gloves, and reflective vests. After an organization has participated in the program for a full year, a sign will be placed along their adopted street with the name of the group or individual. For more information about the program, please visit https://cityoffreeport.org/adopt-a-street/.
We know everyone is busy and time is limited, but, if possible, we encourage you to take an hour-or-two to volunteer. Anyone can contribute to making this community even better!
Andrea Schultz Winter is the Development Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership and co-facilitates the WEN group. She can be reached at email@example.com or 815-233-1354.