More than 100 pitch in to clean cemetery

Published 1:50 pm Monday, May 20, 2019

On Saturday, volunteers throughout the community showed up at Old Live Oak Cemetery to take part in a clean-up effort organized by Morgan Academy’s Motivating Others and Revitalizing the Environment (MORE) group, organized by the school’s Students Government Association (SGA), and Selma City Councilwoman Miah Jackson.

According to Jackson, more than 100 people showed up to lend a hand.

“It was amazing, absolutely amazing,” Jackson said. “There were so many people that stepped up.”

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Among those who turned out were students from Morgan Academy and Meadowview Christian School (MCS), including SGA members Cole Smith and Jack Barnes.

“We just wanted to come out and help the community,” Smith said as he raked a pile of brush covering a grave.

“We just wanted to help out while so many are laid off,” Barnes said.

All throughout the cemetery there were people cutting grass, raking up piles of leaves and debris, weed eating and cleaning.

“I just wanted to lend a helping hand to the community,” said Justin Latham, who was piling leaves into a bag alongside his wife, Mary.

Jackson noted that early in the day a man pulled up and asked what was going on – when Jackson told him about the clean-up effort, the man said he had a little bit of time and was back within minutes with a lawnmower and weed eater.

The local American Legion also stepped up – in the morning, the group provided biscuits for all of the volunteers and once the work was finished had an ice cream truck pull into the cemetery and provide free ice cream for all of the volunteers.

Jackson said the two-hour deep clean made a “significant difference” at the cemetery.

“I’m excited,” Jackson said. “I would hope that the Cemetery Department can take the work we’ve done and continue to make sure it’s cleaned up.”

Further, Jackson hopes there are future opportunities for her to partner with MORE and she already has plans to speak with Richard Waters, the Morgan Academy SGA President who has headed up the initiative, about upcoming projects.

“I’m looking forward to a continuing partnership with MORE,” Jackson said. “I definitely want to partner with them again and do more in our community.”