Students help beautify downtown Oxford for Earth Day
By Steven Hoffman
Approximately 30 students from Oxford Area High School spent the day planting flowers, cleaning up the streets, and helping out with a variety of chores to beautify downtown Oxford on April 20, as part of the school’s 12th annual Earth Day spring cleanup.
The students’ day of volunteering was coordinated through the Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI) office, which regularly oversees the beautification efforts. Most of the students who participated in the cleanup belong to the high school’s LEO’s Club or the Helping Hands Community Service Club.
“Oxford is such a nice community. We love it and we want it to be clean,” said Diana Zavala, the president of the Helping Hands Community Service Club.
Local businesses contributed the flowers, mulch, bags, and other equipment that was used during the cleanup.
Kevin Lentz, a teacher at the high school who also serves as an adviser to the LEOs Club, said that the business owners in town were very receptive to the students’ efforts.
“It went very well,” Lentz said. “The kids were very enthusiastic. We covered a lot of ground today. I think the kids all understand that this day is all about coming together and working to improve the community.”
Ryan Hannum and Matt DeHaut, two members of the LEO’s Club, visited senior citizens in the community and helped them clean up around their houses.
“It was nice to be able to help someone out in the community,” Hannum said.
The Helping Hands Community Service Club participates in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and Make A Difference Day, and raises funds for a variety of causes, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the Chester County Crop Walk. In the Oxford community, the club contributes in a number of different ways, including visiting the elderly, planting flowers, babysitting, and assisting with OMI’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, and more.
Participating in the Earth Day cleanup is important to the students.
“This is the only planet we have so it’s important to take care of it,” Zavala said.