After the storms on Dec. 15, Brown Memorial Park Groundskeeper James Young came to the 230-acre park to find tree limbs and brush scattered all through the property. Traditionally, James takes care of the park with occasional help from a local high schooler, but now he sees some of the park visitors giving small acts of kindness.
“They are just volunteers that really enjoy the park and they come out there and they spend a lot of time,” Young said. “They are out there every day. I see the same people every day out there in the park.”
The day after the storm, Young remembered seeing a woman with five little kids simply walking around and picking up the scattered sticks.
“They were picking up sticks and having a fun time,” Young said. “I walked up to the woman and said, ‘bless your heart,’ and ‘thanks for helping.’ She said we were just sitting around the house and she said the kids were just bored. So, we decided to come out here and do some good. She wasn’t picking up the sticks, but the kids were. They were having a good time and they made a big difference.”
Through a Facebook post on the Abilene Community Happenings page, Young came to learn more people wanted to find a way to help out the park staff.
“My daughter sent me a picture of (the post),” Young said. “I’m not on Facebook, but she did send me the write-up on Facebook and people asking for people to come help.”
His advice to those wanting to help comes down to the simple act of picking up and piling sticks.
“They want to help and just pick up sticks and put them into small piles around, don’t necessarily have to be around the tree,” Young said. “They’re easier to pick up if the piles are not around the trees. We’ve got a tractor with a grabber that we can go around and pick up those piles and that makes the work move quicker.”
All the stick piles will be moved to the burn pile and Young takes care of the bigger tree limbs with his equipment. For all those who helped and want to help, Young wanted to share his thanks.
“It’s a lot of fun to see that,” Young said. “You feel better about your job, your work.”