INDIANAPOLIS — Vests were on and buckets were in hand for day one of Community Love Fest.
Love Fest is a grassroots effort to drive out hate with love across the city. It kicked off with the “Great Indy Clean-Up” along East 34th St. and Keystone Avenue.
“I’ve seen multiple hot tubs, all sorts of contractor waste, which really isn’t too interesting,” said Ryann Davis. “I’ve seen jet skis.”
Davis is the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Manager of Clean Neighborhoods.
“I think when it comes to litter, a lot of times, we talk about the physical impacts of pollution,” Davis said. “But not the mental impact.”
“Showing love is also showing that there are other alternative actions you can take,” said United Northeast Community Development Corporation CEO Ashley Gurvitz. “We have this idea that what you can’t see you can’t be.”
Just a quarter mile down the street from where the cleanup was taking place, police say a man was held at gunpoint, and a person stole his car around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
“While we are working towards the good, the best way we can combat it is by being right in the backyard where it is happening,” said Gurvitz.
The victim is expected to be okay. After the incident, he went to a nearby gas station off North Keystone Avenue for help and had to wait for a ride. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
“I see the things going on in my neighborhood just block to block. I just can’t sit there and say it’s okay because it is not,” said community activist Allen Bailey.
Organizers involved said they hope that with each piece of trash picked off the ground, some hope is spread across the city.
“While we are exhibiting love today, we are creating a ripple effect for those days to come,” said Gurvitz.
Organizers said they expect that with the large crowd, there will be a heavy load to take to the dumpster.
“We don’t even know how much we will end up picking up, but like I said, it could be anywhere from half a ton to five tons to thirty tons,” said Davis.
If you would like more information about Community Love Fest click here.