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Community cleanups offer safe social interaction

Posted at 5:13 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:18:29-04

BALTIMORE — Even with a stay-at-home order in place there are still ways you can get a safe and healthy dose of social interaction. Neighborhood community organizations are seeing more people participating in mini cleanups around the city.

Sarah Hossain meets up with her friend Arianna Koudounas every morning to walk their Midtown neighborhood. Armed with a garbage bag, hand grabber and other personal protective equipment they pick up litter and other discarded trash for an hour.

"It’s tremendously helpful for my mental well-being and physical well-being," said Hossain. "It gets me out of the house. It gets me out of bed at a reasonable hour. It puts some routine in my day and gets me to socialize a little bit from a safe distance."

Hossain told WMAR-2 News she's lives alone and the daily litter removal helps her stay connected with her community.

Koudounas agrees. She is a member of Midtown Baltimore, an organization that prides itself on keeping it's neighborhoods clean, green and safe.

"Cleaning up trash is easy," said Koudounas. "Anyone can do it. "If we have the ability to get outside, especially during this time of year, why not enhance the beauty of our surroundings?"

Midtown Baltimore told WMAR-2 News residents are seeing a difference, adding there are shout outs on social media thanking people for cleaning up.

"I think people in general are wanting to give back at the same time that they have a little extra free time," said Nan Rohrer, president of Midtown Baltimore. "This is one of the few remaining things that people are allowed to do, be out in a park."

For more information of Midtown Baltimore or to get involved, click here.

If you plan to volunteer or organize your own cleanup, health officials and community organizations reminding participants to wear personal protection equipment like gloves and masks.

People are also encouraged to use a hand grabber and to properly disinfect any tools and to wash your hands after any activity.