Volunteers prepare plans to “Polish the Little Apple”

Residents of Manhattan gather together at Bluestem Bistro to spur ideas of how to better the community on Wednesday. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

On Wednesday, Change the World Manhattan, a local volunteer group, met at Bluestem Bistro to continue discussions on an upcoming campaign.

Their campaign, entitled Polish the Little Apple, will be a month-long effort for volunteers to help those in need in Manhattan this April.

In preparation for the campaign, Change the World Manhattan volunteers will meet weekly. In the long run, the organization aims to make the city of Manhattan a better place to live by helping individual citizens in any way they can.

Rod Harms, coordinator of Change the World Manhattan, said one of the main goals for the campaign is to make the community “pop.” Harms said he hopes that at the end of April, the impacts made by the volunteers will be noticeable to the community.

“If we work together we can accomplish some things, and then I hope it lasts and continues on,” Harms said.

Change the World Manhattan has partnered with the city of Manhattan to invest themselves and their reach in the community. Local groups or citizens who need help with various cleanup tasks around Manhattan can go online to register their needs on the city website, and then requests will be given to the appropriate volunteer for coordination.

“It is really too enhance the community of Manhattan through working together to do some physical improvements,” said Sarah Marsh, pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Manhattan.

Volunteers could participate in a variety of tasks ranging from pruning a tree for an elderly citizen to assisting with volunteer coordination, Harms said.

Melinda Rose, house mom for Theta Xi and a Change the World Manhattan volunteer, said she encourages all Kansas State students, whether they live in dormitories, Greek housing or off-campus housing, to work as volunteers to make their home a better place to live.

While “polishing” Manhattan, volunteers from Boy Scouts, the Flint Hills Builder Association and many other organizations will put their skills to good use, Harms said.

For more information about Polishing the Little Apple and Change the World Manhattan, check out the City of Manhattan website.