Mom Group In Vista Organizes Weekly Neighborhood Clean Ups
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Photo by Tania Thorne
Every Wednesday morning, a group of volunteers meets at Luz Duran Park in Vista to pick up trash.
Jovita Serafin is the organizer and leader of “Guerreras en acción por un Vista limpio” or “Warriors in action for a cleaner Vista.”
Serafin supplies the buckets, trash bags, gloves, and grabbers for the volunteers.
“We're a group of volunteer moms and grandmas, and right now since the kids are out of school, the children come and help too,” said Serafin.
The group was organized after the moms saw trash littering the streets when they walked their kids to school.
“We want to see our community clean with a healthy environment for our children, for the elderly that walk the streets, and for the people that are in wheelchairs. Some of the wheelchairs are hand pushed and their hands get dirty because of all the trash that the wheelchairs touch,” said Serafin.
Serafin said the group often picks up masks, used needles and syringes, pet feces, and bottles.
“We want to raise awareness for Vista residents, to please join us by keeping our city clean. Dispose of your trash correctly, especially face masks. We’ve been finding that a lot,” she said.
The group collects and recycles any empty containers they find.
Michael Saldana, a firefighter with the Vista Firefighters Association and a Vista resident, often volunteers with the group.
“It started off pretty rough, there was a lot of trash. They were finding a lot of needles, and that's what it was born out of, them finding needles as they walk their kids to school, finding a lot of trash as they walk their kids to school,” said Saldana. “Instead of writing someone or trying to make waves, they decided to take responsibility for it and organize these walks.”
On August 21st, the group will celebrate two years since they formed.
Marouf Suleiman, a firefighter paramedic with the Vista Fire Department said he especially enjoys seeing the kids volunteer with the group.
“Just us being with the kids here today, just walking around, they kind of get the exposure. Not only that, but they’re asking what we do. We’re exposing the kids to us helping out and now they want to get more involved too,” said Suleiman. “They're like ‘Well, we should do more things like this,’ and it's just awesome seeing these young guys out here and gals.”
Michelle Serafin, one of the children volunteering with the group said she enjoys picking up the trash,“Because we want our town to be clean.”
The children volunteers said it makes them sad when they see all of the trash in their neighborhood.
Serafin said she hopes the group can raise some money since all of the supplies are paid for out of her pocket.
But she said the biggest takeaway is that the group is setting an example for the children.
Serafin said new volunteers of all ages are welcome to join them.
The group meets every Wednesday at Luz Duran Park in Vista.
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