We, recently, moved into a new neighborhood back in April. We have, since, been motivated to keep our yard clean, free of clutter, and freshly mowed. With the Houston drought that hasn’t been to hard. With that said, I’ve noticed that some homes lack motivation to do the same, whereas, other families take it to extreme.
In an effort to meet my neighbors and do good for our area, I’ve been looking for ways to organize a neighborhood cleanup day. A new online tool, HTown Bingo makes it fun, yet productive to do just that, while creating awareness to the problems plaguing your subdivision or area of town in and around Houston.
Htown Bingo is a new game to help Houstonians help their communities. You report potholes, graffiti, that creepy dilapidated house on the corner and other neighborhood problems to SeeClickFix.com (a nationwide, non-emergency reporting system), then you tweet a picture of the issue with the tag #htownbingo. If you don’t use Twitter, don’t worry, you can also play using Facebook. To download the bingo board and learn the rules, click here.
HTown Bingo is, largely, works with an online tool and free app called SeeClickFix. This enables the user to easily report problems they see in their community such as potholes, graffiti, missing stop signs, etc. Today, however, I’d like to concentrate on one initiative that will not only improve the image of your area of town, but will also bring the community together to tackle other issues.
While cleaning up the neighborhood is easy, gathering people to do it might be challenging. Here are a few steps to get you started and keep you organized along the way.
1. Find a large community driven group: Most neighborhood cleanups are organized by the Neighborhood Association, however, other large groups can help such as:
- Boy or Girl Scout Troops
- Athletic Organizations
- Parenting Support Groups
2. Give yourself time: I’m all about being on time, but I often forget to give myself ample time to complete a task. When planning a neighborhood cleanup day make sure to plan it months in advance. This gives you time to gather a small group to be labeled cleanup committee, who can then serve as helping hands to research which areas need the most attention and the supplies needed to conquer it.
3. Advertising and Marketing: I know. I know. It all sounds business-like and pretty technical, but even my 7-yr-old knows that marketing is a form of casual advertising. Market your cleanup using flyers, signs, or even a Facebook Event that people can RSVP to. The point is to get the word out and create community involvement.
4. Execution: On the day of the cleanup day, keep it simple yet safe. Gather all the volunteers before hand and lay out your clean up plan on where to start and where to end. Discuss safety issues for both adults and children present and make sure all supplies are dispersed evenly. Be prepared for emergency situations such as injuries or falls and, most importantly, be positive throughout.
5. Post Cleanup: One cleanup is great. A plan of consecutive cleanups is even better. Roll out a sign up sheet of people to contact for the next slated clean up and recognize, publicly, the individuals that went over and beyond to make this cleanup day a success. To better market a cleanup event in the future, make sure to use any media you can to document this one for local newspapers, Facebook, and local run blogs (such as this one).
6. Maintain a clean neighborhood: Discuss HTown Bingo and See Click Fix as tools that can better serve the community at alert local government and city officials to the problems in your area.
For more information about how HTown Bingo and SeeClickFix work, head over to: www.htownbingo.com.
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