College students clean up highway as part of worldwide movement

More than 25 students from Central Florida colleges picked up trash along road

WINTER PARK, Fla. – More than two dozen volunteers from colleges across Central Florida spent their Sunday morning picking up trash along a busy highway as part of a worldwide cleanup campaign.

Step by step and piece by piece, the group is making a difference.

"Look at all that trash out there," one volunteer said as she was walking down Semoran Boulevard in Winter Park.

The volunteers are students from the University of Central Florida, Full Sail University, Rollins College and Valencia College. They are part of the service group Saving the Earth from A to Z (ASEZ), with the World Mission Society Church of God. They walked a 2-mile stretch of the highway and picked up litter along the way.

They collected cardboard, plastic water bottles and pieces of garbage that were left on the side of the road. 

The campaign called Reduce Crime Together campaign is part of the church's overreaching environmental cleanup campaign, called Mother's Street. Volunteers from around the globe were also picking up trash in their communities on Sunday.

"On this very day we have members in Puerto Rico and New York and New Jersey and California, even as far as Thailand and Taiwan," Aaron McGruder, the coordinator for the ASEZ program, said. "All of our groups around the world are participating at the very same time, the very same day to participate in this movement."

Students cleaning up the side of Semoran Boulevard.

Church leaders said this is more than just picking up trash. McGruder said this movement is also helping reduce crime. 

"It may seem like such a small thing, but actually when there's a cleaner environment it shows that people are more, that it's probably protected more and people are  less likely to cause any trouble there," McGruder said. 

As the bags filled up, volunteers said together they are doing their part to be a positive change in our community.

"As the youth, we are the ones who are going to have to be the forefront of this change to have a better and brighter future,"  McGruder said.