A group of eight Columbus youth spent Saturday afternoon cleaning up the Benning Hills park, taking a cue from a recent viral story about a group of boys from Butler, Ga., who took it upon themselves to clean up their community.
Robert Caldwell-Ray said he organized the cleanup and the boys came from all across Columbus.
“I’ve been trying to keep these young ones from going down the same road I was on,” he told the Ledger-Enquirer. “I did some stuff and I don’t want them getting into.”
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He added that the boys have done these projects before.
“We’ve been doing it since last year,” he said. “I always believed in being a productive citizen in the community. I guess we are finally getting recognized.”
He said he wants to eventually start a nonprofit called Unity in the Community to do more projects.
“We’re positive and productive people, we’re trying to bring growth to the community,” Caldwell-Ray said. “You see all these guys, when they’re young, we’re trying to show them that all young black males are not trying to gang bang. We’re trying to create a movement, with all the violence going on in Columbus. I’d rather build my community up than tear it down.”
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE