East Charlotte Resident Helps Keep Charlotte Beautiful: National Volunteer Week
You don’t need permission to make a difference. Sometimes you just have to start. That’s what Michael Haithcock did after moving to east Charlotte and noticing there was more trash than where he previously lived in the city. He thought, “I don’t know why it’s like this, but I could do something about it. So, on his own, he started cleaning up a street in his neighborhood. Shortly after he started, someone came up to him and asked “Hey, have you heard of Keep Charlotte Beautiful?” He hadn’t but was intrigued to find out more.
After learning about the program and its Adopt-A-Street option, which allows individuals, families, neighborhoods and businesses to take responsibility for waste removal, Michael not only adopted a street, but some. It was like a domino effect, “People saw me adopting streets and cleaning up, and I think three or four other people in Windsor Park, my neighborhood, adopted streets,” he shared.
When he first moved to East Charlotte, it was his personal goal to be more involved in his community. Since he was having so much fun keeping his neighborhood clean, he called the Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB) program manager to see how we could get involved with the program, which works with volunteers to help raise awareness. controlling and recycling waste and participating in community service and events to contribute to a clean environment. Luckily for him, there was an opening on the board. The program director recommended him for mayoral nomination, which Mayor Lyles endorsed. Haithcock enjoyed his time on the board so much that he served on it for years, before becoming its chairman.
“That was kind of the start of my involvement in the community because of the trash. That’s how it started, because of the trash,” he explained. As KCB laid the groundwork for her new community involvement, Haithcock was able to achieve her volunteer goal by becoming a member of the East Charlotte Board of Trustees, the Arts and Science Council Advisory Council and ECCON (East Charlotte Coalition of Neighborhoods).
HWe want people to know that there is no work and no play when it comes to beautification efforts. “If you involve other people, you start making friends. It’s the community that comes together. It’s the people who feel proud of their community and where they live, and people want feel proud, happy and good about where they live,” Haithcock said.
If you’re someone who likes to see the fruits of your labor immediately, then participating in KCB can also be something that brings you joy, he says of the program to encourage neighbors to get involved. “It costs nothing, but makes a huge difference. You know, everyone likes to see the fruits of their labor, and the fruits of their labor after cleaning something is instant.” For these reasons, Haithcock thinks participating in the Adopt-A-Street program is a no-brainer.
If you want to be the next person, organization or neighborhood to adopt a street to help keep our city beautiful, visit https://charlottenc.gov/HNS/CE/KCB/Pages/Adopt-A-City-Street. aspx for details.