Dedicated volunteers clean up family center


Photo by Alyse Horn
Volunteers from GTECH, Door Campaign and Starbucks donated three hours of their time on Tuesday to clean-up the Northview Heights Community Center on Tuesday, April 15.

By Alyse Horn

Laughing in the face of Tuesday’s unusually cold weather, three organizations teamed up to help clean up the Northview Heights Community Center.

The Door Campaign, GTECH and Starbucks Community Service came together to help remove trash and spruce up the landscape surrounding the family center.

Megan Zeigler, the reclaim director at GTECH, said her organization has been working with Starbucks for three years, as both have a commitment to community service.

“[They] work hard no matter the weather,” Zeigler said. “Starbucks is a great partner.”

Carmen Fackler, the regional director of operations at Starbucks, said volunteers from Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Harrisburg all traveled to Pittsburgh to help beautify the area.

“[We] brought the entire team in,” Fackler said. “April is our month of service, and all year we are looking for ways to give back. We have initiatives going on all over the country.”

On Tuesday, Fackler said the snow did not allow the volunteers to plant the fruit trees donated by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, but they were able to clean up trash and install a walkway made out of tree stumps.

“We hope people appreciate how beautiful it looks now and want to keep it that way,” Fackler said.

Quincy Kofi Swatson, creator of the Door Campaign, said he estimated about 30 to 35 bags of trash were collected around the center, most of which came from illegal dumping.

Because the family center is off the highway and leads to a dead-end, people do a lot of illegal dumping around the area, Swatson said. He hopes that eventually a camera can be installed near the area to help deter people from dropping off trash at the site.

Clarifying Swatson’s statement, Zeigler noted the volunteers had removed a toilet earlier in the day that had been left at the end of the road.

Swatson also said they found bikes, Christmas tree stands, a toddler’s big wheel bike and multiple tires among the debris.

In the future, Swatson said herb and vegetable plants will also be added to the surrounding entrance of the family center to “make it more inviting and colorful.” There is also an addition of an art mural on the side of the building being planned, but the date installation has not been decided.

The next cleanup initiative at the family center, which is not affiliated with GTECH or Door Campaign, will be sponsored by Comcast on Saturday, April 26.

Partnering with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Comcast volunteers will clean, paint and landscape at the family center from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Northside Chronicle Donation