Cleaning gutters, planting rose bushes, pressure-washing sidewalks, mulching and painting – if found on my weekend to-do list, these chores might have caused me to pull the covers up over my head and delay the day’s beginning. Working on these projects for someone else, however, brought great joy and meaning to my Saturday afternoon, as I took part in a Keep Noblesville Beautiful spring blitz.
Always well-organized, down-to-the-smallest-detail planned and happy events, KNB days require only that one show up and be willing to work (sometimes hard) to help others. Everything else is seen to – shirts, tools, food, water and appreciation are provided in abundance. I like that.
Showing up and sweating is rewarded every time when neighbors on the blitz street slowly emerge from their homes and, taking new pride in their area, start their own projects and chat with volunteers. Residents benefitting directly from KNB efforts are always gracious and grateful. Those working include families with children, teens, young adults and empty-nesters. It’s a formula for success on so many levels. I am happy to play a small part.
Having participated in several of these clean-up days, I now can drive by certain homes and neighborhoods with a sense of connectedness that wasn’t necessarily there prior to helping a neighbor improve their home, landscape and general attitude about being a resident of Noblesville proper. I like that too.
Now when I traverse Evans Street and spot the bright red awnings adorning one home there, I will instantly remember a day of service that left me feeling satisfied, with a few new friends and with the good kind of sore from a hard day’s work. The same feel-good rush will come as I pass a certain spot on 10th Street where many worked to uncover a beautiful, historic brick sidewalk slowly being claimed by overgrowth. Add this to the other KNB projects I’ve worked over the past five years and I feel pretty good about the place I live no matter where I go.
They say you can’t change history, but you can work to change the future, and Keep Noblesville Beautiful – with its many dedicated volunteers – is doing just that, shaping history as they go.