Activitists come together to improve parts of Richmond

March 4, 2010 3:57:27 PM PST
A cleaner neighborhood might be a safer one. At least that's the hope of an army of men who moved in to spruce up the homes around the Richmond's New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ.

"Cleaning up the neighborhood is a good starting point for the neighbors to come together and reach out to one another and see if they can make a difference," volunteer Antonio McBroom said.

The focus on the neighborhood around the church is not coincidental. It's the same church where three men walked in and shot two young parishioners last month in the middle of a Sunday service.

What happened on February 14th has become a catalyst for action, lead by a group of pastors who've mobilized the community into an outreach effort called "Operation Richmond."

"This area has been depressed for quite some time," said Morris LeGrande, coordinator of the effort. "so this is pretty much a boost, an uplift so that they know too that they can be proud of their neighborhood."

Last weekend, volunteers handed out ten-thousand flyers and Bibles, going door to door in some of Richmond's most violent neighborhoods.

This Saturday, there will be a day of community activities at the Richmond Civic Center, and prayer circles at more than 200 intersections as well as one large one around New Gethsemane, to reclaim it as a safe place for the community to gather.


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