By Mayor of Liberal Joe Denoyer
Spring is definitely in the air. People are getting out and enjoying this beautiful weather we have been having. The walking paths, parks and ballfields are seeing more and more activity. As promised, I want to keep you informed on things going on in our city, and again encourage you to maybe get out of your comfort zone and help make a difference in our community.
There are two opportunities this weekend to partner with two organizations, who for several years, has thought outside the box and made positive changes in Liberal. One you are very familiar with, one you may not know a whole lot about.
I am talking about Stepping Stone Shelter and North East Liberal Leadership, or NELL.
NELL is a group of individuals who, several years ago, saw their part of town starting to deteriorate, and instead of complaing, expecting the city to do all the work, took matters into their own hands. Working “with” the City of Liberal, and Seward County.
NELL has on several occasions, and at a minimum, on an annual basis, organized several neighborhood clean up days. Over the years, Several individuals and groups of all ages, have met at Mahuron Park, and then spread out over North East Liberal, gathering several thousands of pounds of trash, putting it into roll-off dumpsters, which is ultimately taken to the Seward County Landfill.
NELL has also assisted the elderly and hanicapped residents in their quadrant of the community with home repair and yard maintainence projects.
NELL has reclaimed their portion of the community, and has set an example for the rest of the community to follow.
This Saturday, April 26, NELL and all the volunteers will once again meet at 8:30 a.m. at Mahuron Park for their annual clean up day. Everyone is invited to participate in the clean up, and maybe take away a few ideas on how you can start a similar project on your block or in your neighborhood. It’s about Neighbors helping neighbors.
The other group I would like to mention is Stepping Stone Shelter. Stepping Stone has been providing a service to the community for the past several years, that due to limited resources, could not be accomplished by the city. Stepping Stone Shelter has provided a hand up for individuals and families who due to unforseen cicumstances, or for the opportunities to work and make a better life for themselves or families have made Liberal home.
Stepping Stone Shelter, in 2013 alone, served 23,234 meals and housed 349 individuals with 30 of that number being children with most of these people becoming viable, contributing members of our community.
Stepping Stone is a unique facility to our area, and is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Stepping Stone has had it’s share of financial struggles as well, but due to grants, donations and fundraisers, have been able to keep providing this essential service to Liberal.
So again, if you are looking for a way to help make a difference, this weeked offers another unique opportunity. This Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m., marks the 9th Annual “Spring Sing Barbecue Thing.” There will be a meal of hamburgers and the sides, entertainment, and drawings with 100 percent of the proceeds to keep the doors of Stepping Stone open. If you can’t make the event, call Pat at the Shelter, 626-6024, and see how you can help.