On the scorching late afternoon of May 17, about 100 participants — many of whom were middle schoolers — led a community trash pickup at various areas in Eatonville to keep the environment clean.
The “Trash Tastic” fundraiser benefited the Eatonville Family Agency, which works to address poverty through numerous social services and community programs, including food and clothing banks and school supply giveaways.
The concept was brought forth by second-grade student Jackson Smith, who also organized trash pick-up groups, picked up garbage and continuously checked in on participants to make sure everyone had the tools needed to succeed.
“When EFA reached out, I thought it was a good idea to do a fundraiser because we could help people and pick up trash,” Smith said.
Participants ranged in age from toddlers to retired residents, and many were from the Eatonville Middle School track team. The track team coaches also assisted by chaperoning the event.
Target trash pickup areas were Eatonville High School, Eatonville Middle School, Eatonville Elementary School, Mashell Avenue and Lynch Creek Road. Garbage was picked up at some additional sites, as well.
The event began at the high school, where participants were split into four groups to tackle each target area. Participants regrouped at the high school with buckets and bags filled with garbage. The event raised over $1,000 for EFA and garnered participants in other EFA community events. The Eatonville Lions Club community center was the event sponsor.
Reflecting on the fundraiser, Smith said he was inspired by not only the positive impacts that come with cleaning up trash, but also by individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
“I felt really good helping nature and proud of how much garbage we picked up and money we raised,” Smith said. “This all started when I wanted to help homeless people. Then I thought about picking up trash because we saw a lot of litter.”
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