Two big hearted groups work to clean up Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Giving back to the community. That was the emphasis on two projects Saturday in the Tri-Cities.

One on each side of the river, independent of each other, spending the day cleaning up.

Picking up trash, sweeping sidewalks, and handing out bottles of water. It's our local Union Gospel Mission's way of giving back.

"What wanted to do was show the city that we genuinely care," says UGM Woman's Ministry Director Chariss Warner.

She helped organize the flash-mob style service project. Dozens of eager workers showed up in downtown Pasco Saturday morning, ready to lend a hand in helping to clean up the streets.

Teenager Julian Lorraine was among them.

"I mean, it's all the work of God. Just coming down and serving the community and whole city. Just helping the people," he says.

The all volunteer service groups hit areas between Sylvester and Lewis Street. One contingent helped pull weeds for a retired woman who was just recently told she couldn't drive.

"That's what I feel called to do. I love serving people, whether it be in a house, or in a building, or in another city," Julian added.

And just one city over in Kennewick, another volunteer group was tackling the downtown area. An event called Unions For United Way targeted the Boys and Girls Club. Volunteers helped repaint, rewire, and refurnish the building as part of the annual block party service project. Recipients of the work were extremely grateful.

"It's kind of surreal to be here today. To see all of the work that's really helping here. It's pretty incredible to see everybody here helping us out. It's amazing right now," says Boys and Girls Club Director Josh Peterson.

Two service projects in two cities with one unified message.

"If you don't take care of the city then who will? It's just coming down and helping everyone you can," Julian says.

More than 100 people volunteered between both projects. The United Way Block Party chooses local non-profits to benefit. They have a similar event every year.