Macon community activists are aiming to paint a better image in a neighborhood where several homes and a car were spray painted with graffiti earlier this month.
People are invited Saturday to help clean up the gang graffiti in the Sunnydale Drive and Jeffersonville Road area of east Macon.
East Macon resident Deborah Evans has spearheaded the effort to remove the graffiti. Many residents in the Sunnydale neighborhood were upset about the image the graffiti was giving the community, she said.
"I'm very passionate about (this community)," Evans said. "I've been in this area for over 57 years. We're trying to make a difference in the neighborhoods in east Macon and get people interested in their neighborhoods."
Evans is part of the Macon-Bibb County Shalom Zones organization -- an effort led by churches, community leaders, businesses and local government -- that is organizing Saturday's cleanup. People are asked to meet between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. at the intersection of Sunnydale Drive and Jeffersonville Road. The cleanup begins at 8 a.m. and will last until about noon.
"It's time to take a stand and let people know in the community and outside the community to know that we care," Shalom Zones coordinator Frank Austin said.
Sunnydale Drive resident Jeanetta Howard said she thinks the graffiti might have been in response to another neighborhood cleanup that was already planned prior to the homes being spray painted. The cleanup and block party, held a couple of days after the homes were tagged, drew more than 100 people, she said.
"They were doing negative activity so they could kind of scare us from the cleanup," Howard said. "I've been in that neighborhood all my life. I know (most) of the people that stay in the neighborhood. That didn't scare me at all."
Evans has sought donations to pay for the paint and other supplies. Anyone interested in attending can bring paint rollers, but people are more than welcome even if they don't have supplies.
"We're just asking them to show up," Evans said.
To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623 or find him on Twitter@stan_telegraph.