Updated 08/02/2012 08:55 PM
Elmira youth help cleanup the city
Since last week’s tornado, it has been an all hands on deck approach in getting Elmira back to normal. Crews have been working around the clock and as our Bill Mich tells us, volunteers of all ages are doing their part in the recovery as well.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- "The Spot" is a summer program run by the Chemung County Youth Bureau that gives teens activities to be a part of during the summer months, some of which include giving back.
"The community service project is a component for these kids to go to Darien Lake, which we will be doing next Tuesday, but it's also a way, a mechanism, that we can put into the program for the kids to express their appreciation for the city of Elmira," said program coordinator Kevin Adams.
Thursday, 45 kids had their opportunity for community service at Brand Park. The park was one of the hardest hit areas in the city during last week's tornado. Since then, city crews have done a ton of work to make repairs but there is still much to do.
"No matter if you're a teen, a twenty something year old working for the program, every little bit helps and we're glad to give them that opportunity to be part of that massive effort to clean up," said Adams.
These 12 to 15 year olds came ready to work on Thursday. Armed with brooms and rakes, they collected downed branches, raked up leaves and did their part to restore the park. The kids were actually in the park last week just before the tornado hit, so they say they can appreciate just how much damage was done and how badly their help was needed.
"It was such a tragic event on Thursday, or last Thursday, and it was just horrifying to see the whole town of Elmira everywhere," said program member Trevor Keller.
There is still much to do to return the city to normal but with dedicated volunteers like these kids, normal may happen sooner rather than later.