Medora organizes cleanup day; another community meeting set



May 12 will be a big day in Medora.

Jackson County United Way will have a large group of volunteers from Cummins Inc. in town to help with a community cleanup day.

Plus, a Leadership Jackson County project team has enlisted the help of Schneck Medical Center employees to revitalize the town park.

Shannon Hunsucker, a member of the LJC project team and district coordinator for Medora Community Schools’ Reach for a Star after-school program, mans the Medora Talk Facebook group and recently posed the question “If you could make one positive change for Medora, what would it be?” She asked people to think big but be realistic.

Multiple times, a community cleanup day was mentioned.

Medora Town Council President Jerry Ault got Jackson County Solid Waste Management District Director Debbie Hackman on board to provide dumpsters for items to be placed in on the United Way’s Day of Caring, which is set for May 12 with multiple projects around Jackson County.

United Way Executive Director Tonja Couch attended the recent town council meeting and said the organization is really excited about all of the entities coming together for the cleanup day.

“We’ve never really done a cleanup day for homes. We’ve always supported and partnered with our seniors and senior projects, but nothing to this scale that we’re hoping to do here,” Couch said.

She asked the council to come up with neighborhoods or blocks of town that needs the most attention.

“I think if we can get some really definite neighborhoods lifted up, that’s our intention to also support them and connect them to additional resources,” she said.

Ault said his plan is to write a letter, make copies of it and distribute them around town to let people know about the free opportunity to get rid of items they don’t need. Couch said it would be best to have it co-written by the town, United Way and solid waste district so residents see the entities are all in this together.

If a homeowner agrees to participate, Couch said they will have to provide a certificate of insurance and sign a waiver.

“This is something we’re doing across the county, not just here in Medora, but we’re really hoping that we can make a big dent here because you’re all interested,” she said.

Hunsucker said the volunteers will move people’s unwanted items to the curb, and Ault said a lightning loader will be used to put the items in the back of trucks and on trailers to be taken to the dumpsters.

“We can use that lightning loader because it was bought with solid waste money,” Ault said. “We can load it on the truck, and then that’ll be a big help.”

Hunsucker said they will need people to volunteer use of their trucks and trailers that day. Ault said he would allow use of his truck.

Volunteers from the community also are welcome to join the Cummins employees in the cleanup effort.

During a recent community meeting, Medora Pentecostal Church Pastor Tim Gill said he looks forward to the community cleanup day.

“That old saying ‘The way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time,’ if we can take one house at a time, one person at a time, we have a lot of elderly people that can’t do it, so if we supply the manpower to help them … I think the domino effect would be very powerful as we just take one person at a time and help them,” he said. “I think the community coming together is absolutely essential.”

Town resident Russell Cross agreed.

“That’s a given. We’ve all got to jump in together,” he said.

With the town park project, Hunsucker said $10,000 worth of used playground equipment has been donated. That includes two large structures, a jungle gym and a toddler tunnel.

Blue River Services, which oversees Medora’s after-school program, had the equipment available from two day care sites that closed.

In April, volunteers will travel to Marengo and Georgetown to pick up the equipment and bring it to Medora. Hunsucker said Premier Companies in Seymour has donated the use of a couple of flatbed trailers and trucks to help with that effort.

Hunsucker said once a pickup date is confirmed, an event will be created on Facebook and posted in the Medora Talk group.

“We’re going to need help. We need the manpower to help get the equipment loaded up,” she said.

Another day will be set to install the pieces so Day of Caring volunteers can help clean it May 12 along with spreading mulch, painting and fixing broken swings at the park.

“I am so psyched about this,” Hunsucker said of the equipment donation. “It is used equipment, but it is still in great shape. Some of it has been sitting for a while, so it just needs a good scrub.”

Anyone interested in helping with these initiatives or finding other ways to get involved is encouraged to attend the next community meeting, set for 11 a.m. April 4 in the library at the school, 82 S. George St., Medora.

The community meetings March 6 and 7 had more than 20 total attendees, and several people who couldn’t be there expressed interested in being involved.

“If you can make those meetings, they are worthwhile going to,” Ault said. “They are going to try to get a sense of community back in the town with community participation. This town is taking a step in the right direction, and with the help of the school and their projects going on, we’re going to make some major changes.”

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To keep up with what’s going on in Medora, send a request to join the Medora Talk group on Facebook.

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What: Medora community meeting

When: 11 a.m. April 4

Where: Library at Medora Community Schools, 82 S. George St., Medora

Who: Public is invited

Topics: Medora park improvements, community cleanup day, Medora Pride Day, committee updates and future planning

Information or to RSVP: Call 812-569-0701


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