Volunteers gather to clean up a Birmingham neighborhood

By Katie Herrera

BIRMINGHAM,AL (WBRC) - The La Quemada neighborhood near the airport was in desperate need of attention.  It's an area of nearly 150 duplexes, many of which do not meet city property needs. But on Saturday, more than 300 volunteers teamed up to clean it up.

Volunteers picked up trash, pulled weeds, mowed lawns, raked leaves, cleared brushes – all an effort to restore pride to the poverty-ridden neighborhood.  Some volunteers took time to pray with the residents. And some were even found playing kick-ball with neighborhood children.

"We've been able to just pray for people, and love on people. It's so amazing," said Brielle Hoffman, a volunteer with Church of the Highlands.

Many of the residents started thinking differently about their neighborhood.

"If everybody gets out here and helps, just like this, it'll stay clean. And then it'll prosper from there," said Monique Mendenhall, who has lived in the area for a year.

Even the young residents started lending a hand, "So we can live better," explained one boy.

Residents made promises to keep up the work in the future.

"By keeping my yard clean and my neighbor's yard clean. And keeping the children safe and out of the streets," said Mendenhall.

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