By District Staff

How many times have you driven down the road, wishing to yourself that someone would come and clean up that eyesore, that patch of garbage, that unsightly pile of construction debris that some unthinking person has dumped? At the very moment you’ve thought that, have you wondered who might be willing to do that?

Well, Houston can consider itself fortunate this year, because a group of youth volunteers from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) has come into town to help clean up, help that’s most welcome following the havok Hurricane Harvey brought to town. The Five Corners Management District was one of the beneficiaries of this selfless group’s efforts to help clean up the community.

On June 29 and 30 Ms. Melva Thornton, board member and beautification committee chair for the Five Corners District, welcomed over 100 youth volunteers, between the ages of 15 and 18, along with 10 adult supervisors, from the ELCA to the community. Ms. Thornton shared with the volunteers a brief history and the mission of the District and answered questions about the community. The volunteers are in Houston for a weekend of service coordinated by the ELCA and communities around Houston where they were working. District Board Chairman Homer Clark and City Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum were also on hand to welcome the volunteers.

“Welcoming the students to Houston reminded me of the tremendous joy in serving others. Witnessing their eagerness to serve was extremely refreshing. I will smile each time I ride through 5 Corners management district and see the well-manicured trees. I hope they had fun and will always remember the impact they made in District K through their “heart” work!” remarked Council Member Castex-Tatum.

The District, in recognition of the importance of the service this group offered, provided bottled waters, fruit, granola bars, and hand wipes to the volunteers. The district litter and bandit sign removal team of SMC Logistics assisted with the planning and implementation of the 2-day project. Three crew supervisors from SMC provided instructions and maps to the volunteer coordinators from ELCA; set up cones, provided hauling service of filled trash bags to a roll-off container; delivered mulch; and provided other assistance, as needed.

The District also fielded officers with SEAL Security Services, accompany the buses and help provide safety oversight on the group’s cleaning activities.

Board member Thornton enthusiastically reflected on the group’s efforts, recalling that, “The ELCA Project went very well and I was pleased to see so many young people willing to do service in our community. We had individuals from Wisconsin, New Jersey, Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri and some from the great State of Texas. As I spoke to many of the students, they wanted to know more about Houston and of course a lot of talk about the `heat wave’.”

She went on to praise the group, saying, “Their enthusiasm and passion for service is uncanny in this day and age and many times are overlooked and not reported by others. These students are our future and the world will be a better place and in good hands with them at the helm.”

Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service, and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives. The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering was held in Houston, TX, June 27th-July 1.

The Five Corners Management District and everyone in the area would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to these fantastic youth volunteers.

To learn more about the great work of the ELCA