TAMPA, Fla. - With a little sweat and a whole lot of hard work, the streets of Tampa’s Uptown University Area are looking a lot brighter.
"It’s more than just a day of service, a day of projects. It’s a day to unite the community, to bring everyone together and to talk about how important this community is," said Sarah Combs, the CEO of the University Area CDC.
More than 100 volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to work Saturday afternoon to join those with the University Area CDC for the ninth annual Paint the Town event.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was smaller than normal to keep volunteers safe. However, it didn’t stop those in attendance from making a huge difference in the University Area as they worked hard to beautify a place so many call home.
"There are so many projects here today," said Combs. "We have everything from painting a basketball court, to planting flowers, to gardening work. We’re even putting together benches that we’re going to be putting at our three park sites."
But before the planting and painting, volunteers got dirty, picking up mattresses, clearing debris, and throwing away old trash left rotting in the grass.
"It is so important to really get out in the community, work with residence, roll up our sleeves and do some meaningful work here in the heart of the University area community," said Combs.
While some volunteers worked on getting rid of the old, others were busy creating something new. Dozens of volunteers came together to paint a colorful mural on the nearby community basketball court. The changes proved that a little paint and a splash of color can go a long way.
"When a resident walks by and sees a beautiful basketball court that has a mural on it, that brightens someone’s day. When you walk by and you see flowers that gives you hope and love and joy which is what we’re trying to spread throughout the community," said Combs.
Click here for more information on the University Area CDC and the work they do in the community, or for information on how to volunteer.