Over the last several days following the death of George Floyd, outrage has sparked across the country. The city of Denver felt that outrage.
Protesters have taken the streets to march in honor of George Floyd and to express the unjust surrounding the voices of the black community in our nation. Following what started as peaceful protests, was destruction. Tear gas filled the streets, windows of businesses were smashed, and litter lined the streets.
Some are wondering how they can continue their support for protesters as well as keep our city clean & beautiful.
You can volunteer.
There are individual organizers creating opportunities to help clean the streets of Downtown Denver.
The city of Denver is also opening up efforts for volunteer clean up.
(More info on how to help with the city's efforts to come)
Over the past weekend, I myself (Nina Blanco) have watched, have felt the words spoken and want to take action. I wasn't sure how, but I found being apart of the clean up crew for downtown, something I was comfortable with. The reason? You can read in my post and experience below.
If you do find yourself getting ready to help with clean-up efforts here are a few tips you might find helpful
- Bring supplies
- Face Mask - COVID-19 is still a concern so be sure to bring a face mask to wear while cleaning.
- Gloves - This can get messy, bring gloves to protect your hands from germs. Thicker gloves like gardening gloves can help while handling sharp objects like glass. *DO NOT TOUCH GLASS WITH YOUR HANDS. Use a broom & dust pan but if you find yourself handling glass BE CAREFUL*
- Trash bags - You're here to help clean up, bring bags to put the garbage in!
- Broom - A push broom works great to brush up debris. A house broom will work too!
- Dust pan - Something I forgot but would have found helpful to keep your hands clean while picking stuff up.
- Water, sunscreen, close toed shoes, hat, hand sanitizer - Because it's Colorado and you need to protect yourself!
- Tear Gas
- Garden beds - Our city puts forth a beautiful effort in landscaping around Civic Center Park. When reaching in the flower beds beware of leftover tear gas that is released as you touch the leaves. It can still irritate your eyes & skin. *CAUTION: When cleaning in flower beds beware of sharp objects commonly found such as glass & needles*
- Sweeping - While using your broom you brought with you, you may release tear gas stuck in the grass, debris and dust in the areas where tear gas was used the night prior. You may never know when you could be exposed to it so take caution while sweeping.
- A positive attitude
- This is dirty, hard work. But that's why you're volunteering! Please remember to be kind of those you are working with and are around. Think of it as a walk around town while you are cleaning. Bring a friend with you to keep you company. I can't tell you how many residents of downtown Denver took the time to say "THANK YOU" for being there and cleaning up. Puts a smile on their face and a smile on yours. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a break! You deserve it for the effort you are putting forth.