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Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to host first-ever ‘Virtual Great Indy Cleanup’

Virtual Great Indy Cleanup

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is asking people to join them taking part in a virtual challenge.

They want people to go outside for 15 minutes, wherever you are, this Wednesday afternoon and help pick up trash or litter in your area in an effort to keep the city clean and give people something to do while the COVID-19 crisis has forced people to stay at home.

They decided the only way to do this as a community was virtually.

“All you need is an old grocery bag, a pair of gloves,” said Ashley Haynes, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful marketing director.

People at KIB are hoping its first-ever “Virtual Great Indy Cleanup” will provide a safe and fun way to do something good for your neighborhood and stay connected with your neighbors while you’re at it.

When word got to the organization about the dangers of the pandemic, they shut down all of their public community events planned for the early part of spring. In the meantime, they see this as an opportunity to keep the city clean, green and beautiful in a different way.

Here’s how Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is asking people to participate:

  • Grab an old grocery bag to reuse, or another bag available to you.
  • Put on your gloves or grab your litter grabber.
  • Pick up whatever you see for 15 minutes
  • Get creative! Dance to your favorite song while you clean, wear a funny costume, something to make the world smile.
  • Wave to your neighbors!
  • Take pictures of your amazing work.
  • Wash your hands!
  • Share your impact by tagging @kibiorg and #GreatIndyCleanup online.

“It’s safe to step right outside your home, pick up what you see, put that in your trash bag and when you look around the neighborhood you’ll see things are a little bit cleaner and a little bit brighter,” Haynes said.

Haynes says they emphasize “waving to your neighbors” because it answers a question that they’ve been trying to answer since COVID-19 shut down their ability to meet with volunteers across the city.

“How can we still keep those connections even when we’re physically separated?” Haynes said. They believe this event will help people reconnect. “I really hope it puts a smile on people’s face.”

She also sees it as a way for people to regain a momentary sense of certainty with COVID-19 still heavy on everyone’s minds.

“Even though time are unprecedented, challenging and scary right now, there’s still something we can do. [It’s] just having that power and control to take action even if it’s just picking up a candy wrapper outside of your house.”

The Virtual Great Indy Cleanup is happening Wednesday from 12:15 – 12:30 p.m.