Students, residents gather to clean Pelham cemetery

Updated: Jan. 15, 2020 at 7:21 AM EST
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PELHAM, Ga. (WALB) - Complaints of an unkempt cemetery were growing in one Southwest Georgia community, so citizens and students from Pelham schools teamed up to clean it up.

“Guys, there’s a grave right here. I was literally just standing on top of it,” said Kayln Boyd.

You can miss a lot under the tree stumps and debris in the Pelham cemetery.

“This is actually really sad,” said Boyd.

She said the “stop littering” signs don’t get too far.

“People don’t really care about cleaning up or making the effort,” she said.

But not one group of students.

Teresa Rackley started the Pelham Cemetery Restoration Group.
Teresa Rackley started the Pelham Cemetery Restoration Group.(WALB)

“Me and my friends did a lot of work over here in this area,” said student Idashia Duhart.

It started when Teresa Rackley came out to tend to family plots and saw piles of debris.

“It was then that I had to step up and try to figure out what we needed to do to make it a better place,” said Rackley.

She organized a Facebook group and even took it to the city.

“The city manager was very responsive. They listened to our concerns,” said Rackley.

But she needed more hands on deck, and that’s where students came in.

“We got together and you know, just started cleaning up,” said Duhart.

From left to right: Kayln Boyd, Bailey Dale, and Idashia Duhart.
From left to right: Kayln Boyd, Bailey Dale, and Idashia Duhart.(WALB)

“It taught me responsibility for our community and the stuff in it,” said Bailey Dale.

They’ve come a long way from where they started.

“It was so much stuff that you didn’t even know they were there,” said Duhart.

But they said their efforts can’t stop here.

“We would just love for people who have family out here to come out and help us on our workday,” said Rackley.

If you would like to help out or donate, visit their Facebook Page.

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