Cleanup volunteers rise with the sun

March 27, 2009 10:29:02 AM PDT
Six o'clock in the morning might be a little early for some, but not for the cleanup ladies.Armed with brooms and rakes, Louguster Atkins and Trunetta Robinson get up early to attack whatever trash they find in their South Side neighborhood.

"The simple reason is to make our neighborhood look good...and everybody that comes by they give us credit for how neat our neighborhood is," said Atkins.

Atkins and Robinson work a three-block area from Albany and Flournoy.

"It helps to improve our neighborhood its a lot of people who will come along and throw down bottles and paper, go to McDonalds to eat and throw (trash) out their car. It just don't make sense," said Robinson.

These ladies have been cleaning up the neighborhood for the past 30 years. It's not a seasonal thing, they do it yearlong. In the summer, they cut grass. In the winter, they shovel snow.

"She's strong. She's not sickly and this her spirit of hope," said Vanessa Robinson, daughter. "And she's retired and she's just a beautiful person all the way round."

"What they are doing is basically out of the kindness of their hearts...not expecting anything in return...but just doing because it makes them feel good that the neighborhood is clean...and everyone should respect that," said Valarie Comier, resident.

The praise is nice, but not necessary, according to the ladies.

"We feel good but we already know that," said Atkins. "We already know it looks good."

"I don't have to take any pills because when I'm out cleaning. This is my exercise. I don't have to go to the spa. This is my spa out here with my broom and my rake, sweeping and cleaning," joked Robinson.