Guest Post by Pat Ormond, WeTHRIVE! in Reading
My wife, Tracy, and I have been litter walking for about 20 years, mostly just around our neighborhood. We did it for exercise and to beautify our immediate neighborhood.
When we were introduced to WeTHRIVE in Reading by Donna Wiggins and Sabrina Smith, we were inspired to make our love for litter cleanup a community activity to beautify all of Reading through the WeTHRIVE community.
Our original name for the group was to be the Reading, Ohio Litter Project (inspired by the Ohio Litter Project, which is statewide). After speaking with Annie Hess (member of WeTHRIVE! in Reading), she suggested Walk With Purpose, which served to represent the community desire to clean up litter, get some exercise, breathe fresh air, and commune with nature. We have been Walk With Purpose (WWP) ever since.
Our logo was designed by Alyse Capaccio and our buckets were designed by Brian Collins. Donna Wiggins set up our Signup Genius and residents were then able to adopt streets through our Facebook page, Walk With Purpose.
We currently have 47 members cleaning streets, parks, schools, and other open spaces in the city. City council recently adopted an ordinance to regulate the placement of unsolicited material such as Doorstore to help clean up the city too!
We began walking really to support the city of Reading and its efforts to keep up our city while being understaffed due to budget constraints. We have the best public service workers anywhere and it is an honor to help them. Our reality in this country is that we have built wonderful cities that government can’t always keep up with. And while we all pay taxes for public services, we believe citizens should be involved in community service where their time and talents allow.
WWP is our chance to give back for our blessed lives and for the great city of Reading that has given us a safe, secure life for the past 25 years. We have derived great energy from seeing the individuals, families, and especially children give back to their community through WWP!
It is our hope that WWP spreads to Lockland and Arlington Heights in the near future as we work to keep our valley communities clean and litter free!