Fall Pride & SHINE gets later date

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 7, 2015

 Andrew Hill cleans up a local woman’s yard as part of a previous Sterling Heights fall Pride & SHINE Day.

Andrew Hill cleans up a local woman’s yard as part of a previous Sterling Heights fall Pride & SHINE Day.

File photo by Nicholas Barry

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An annual push to clean up yards and properties in Sterling Heights is waiting a bit longer than usual this autumn.

This year, the fall version of Pride & SHINE Day, a community beautification event, is scheduled to take place Nov. 14. SHINE is an acronym for Sterling Heights Initiative for Neighborhood Excellence.

During Pride & SHINE, the city asks residents to clean up their exterior properties and make them orderly before the snow and ice of winter arrive. The periodic cleanup days are meant to stave off blight and to keep property values high in the neighborhoods.

In addition, the campaign recruits volunteers to scoop up trash, rake leaves and uproot dead plant material for neighbors and residents who otherwise could not tend to their yards due to circumstances like age or disability.

Many volunteers come from religious and civic organizations or from the Sterling Heights Volunteer Corps, but the general public is invited to sign up too.

Sterling Heights Citizen Services Specialist Sue Giallombardo said previous fall Pride & SHINE days typically hovered around the first Saturday of November. This time, organizers decided to push the day to around the middle of the month to maximize the effect of volunteer efforts in raking yards.

“It seems like the leaves aren’t totally fallen, so we are trying to extend it one more week to catch the leaves,” she said.

However, Giallombardo said the event will be similar in other ways, particularly in terms of size and scope. She said about 25 homes will be selected for cleanups, and the city expects between 75 and 100 volunteers to show up.

She said that volunteers who want to help should wear comfortable clothes.

“If they do have tools, it’s nice that they bring their own tools — rakes and gloves and hedge shears,” she added.

According to Sterling Heights Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle, the city is collecting the names of people who call in and say they want to volunteer. Volunteers will meet the morning of the event to be assigned to properties within the city.

“These people dedicate their Saturday and want to make an impact,” Doyle said. “We have a stack of homes that need help this fall.”

The Nov. 14 fall Pride & SHINE Day will begin with a 9:30 a.m. organizational meet-up at the First Church of Sterling Heights, 39400 Dequindre Road in Sterling Heights. Learn more by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2470.

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