How much time you've spent in Philadelphia is directly proportional to how much trash you've seen here. And if you've come on a CSM trip with us, more likely than not, you've helped us fix the problem of being the dirtiest city to live in in America. And you've probably done it by cleaning a street, lot, or playground with one of our most longstanding ministry partners, Ray of Hope, led by Raymond Gant of North Philly. Well, Ray has become the face of clean streets here in Philly, and describing more of his fame is this excellent article about his passion for beautifying communities.
He's best known for his relentless cleaning of McPherson Square where there is a park and a library. It used to be dubbed "Needle Park" because of the rampant drug activity that made it incredibly unsafe for children. But now, after years of hard work, organizing volunteers and mobilizing neighbors to come out and help, Ray says of the community that "that dark cloud that used to hang over folks there is gone. It's a brighter day."
- Nicole Engelhardt, CSM Philadelphia Associate City Director
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