Thumbs Up! - April 23, 2012

The litter along Jefferson Street under the Liberty Bypass is an eyesore, plain and simple. For whatever reason, many drivers (and plenty of passengers as well) seem to feel free to dispose of cups, food wrappers and lots and lots of cigarette butts at that location. Members of the Rotary Club of Albany and Keep Albany-Dougherty personnel and volunteers attacked the area last Thursday by picking up debris and raking the ground clean. An additional litter round-up took place on Friday by government leaders, employees and volunteers as the annual Stash-the Trash event focused on the downtown area. On Saturday, a community-wide anti-litter campaign was held in neighborhoods throughout the city. KADB provided gloves and trash bags for the debris collectors. A special thank you to each and every person that made time for the work of cleaning up after others.

Albany's Recreation and Parks Department and the Albany Panthers have once again planned for free, fun and family-oriented movies to be shown during the next few months. Friday, the featured film was "The Smurfs." Upcoming will be several more films that are sure to entertain, regardless of one's budget restraints. Bring the family, friends and neighbors for a good time.

National Crime Victims' Week is currently being observed in Albany/Dougherty County. Most communities have a few agencies that work with victims but in this community, the services are abundant. If you or someone you know is in need of support services, advice or legal assistance, local agencies are standing together for the rights of crime victims. Take a look for yourself at the following list: Open Arms, SOWEGA Council on Aging, Albany State University Police Department, MCLB-Albany Family Advocacy Center, Albany Tech Police Department, Dougherty County Sheriff's Department, Victim Assistance, DA's office, Albany Parole and Probation, Juvenile Court, Lily Pad, Liberty House, Albany Police Department, Dougherty County Police Department, Haven of Hope and Dougherty County School Police.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church has a group of often behind-the-scene folks that go about doing things for others. The Willing Workers most recently provided Easter baskets for the students enrolled in Magnolia Elementary School's exceptional students program. It's tough to guess where these workers will strike next but safe to say they will. Thank you to this special band of people who see a need and take care of it, ever so quietly.

If you think that the main purpose of the Salvation Army is to provide toys to needy children at Christmas, come out from under your rock and learn the amazing truth. During the course of the first three months of this year the Salvation Army assisted with 17 cases involving utility bills, provided 1,227 pieces of clothing, distributed 1,369 hygiene items and filled 95 grocery orders. Through A Place 4 Hope, 544 showers were taken and 297 loads of laundry were done. In addition to all that, 8,189 meals were served in the community dining room. Last, but far from least, the services were made largely possible by the donation of 920 volunteer hours.

With a school system as large as that of Dougherty County, it must be a difficult task to pick just one winner for Teacher of the Year. To every teacher that was named the TOY for your individual school, a hearty congratulations! Finalists for the system-wide recognition are Elizabeth Arnold (Albany High School), Terri Sue Brown (Lake Park), Gary Brian Collier (Westover High), Gistacy Veronique Brown (Morningside), Carol Edwards Ford (Lincoln), Felita Cobb Lockett (MLK), Phillip Marquis Burns (Lamar Reese) and Veronica A. Reese (Sherwood Acres). From school level nominees to district level competitors, here is a giant "Thumbs Up!"