'Love Where You Live' Jumpstarts Neighborly Volunteer Program

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COLUMBIA - Ridgeway Neighborhood Association collaborated with the Central Missouri Community Action and the City of Columbia to host 'Love Where You Live," a volunteer program where people can help their neighbors out.

Saturday was the first time the event has taken place, with dozens of volunteers coming out to support it. Boone County Community organizer Sarah Klassan said "Love Where You Live" is the first of its kind in Columbia, and called it a great beginning for people in the community that need help, but don't have the resources to get it for themselves. 

"How do we create a support structure for those folks, but who really need the support from their neighbors, friends and volunteers?" Klassan asked? "Through the community. It can offer them that and that's how Love Where You Live was born."

Michael Maw, a member of the Ridgeway Community Association, said it's an awesome opportunity. 

"It's the first time in Columbia that we get to do this, where we're bringing together members of the community from all over the city right here into my neighborhood," Maw said. "We get to work together to clean it up."

Another volunteer, Emily Coates,  said "Love Where You Live" is a great way to help out the community and feel like a part of it.

"This really gets the community involved and it's way we watch out for each other," Coates said. 

Volunteers began at 9 a.m. at Oak Tower in Columbia and split into volunteer teams. The teams' tasks included trash pick-up, raking leaves, alley clean-ups and tire pick-ups. 

The idea for "Love Where You Live" in Columbia originated from the Ridgeway Neighborhood Association, which seeks ways to help the community. The association followed a similar plan from Plano, Texas, which had its own "Love Where You Live" event. Columbia organizers tweaked its version to fit the needs of local community members.  The next event is scheduled for the spring. 

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