West End Cleanup Pachanga March 2020

Sophomore Riley Dale, offensive lineman with TLU football, helps his teammates throw away trash collected on Saturday, March 7, 2020, during the West End Neighborhood Project's annual Neighborhood Cleanup day and Pachanga, and as part of TLU's annual day of service, Day of the Dogs.

Community. That’s what started the West End Project. That’s what helped it thrive. And that is what will keep it going long into the future.

A few years back, Councilman Chris Rangel — a Seguin native — and his wife Illeen moved into the neighborhood where he grew up. The couple saw a need to bring the neighbors together and make their home something they could all be proud of.

It started with a Saturday morning clean up crew. And each time they would gather and put a call out for help, the group got bigger. Thus started the West End Project. They started with just a couple of blocks, and now it’s expanded to most of the northwest side of the city.

Eventually, they partnered with Texas Lutheran University students during the annual Day of the Dogs and the Dog Days of Summer getting even more help.

The couple has expanded the event to include local service organizations like the Seguin Police Department, American Red Cross, Seguin Planning and Codes, Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers, Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Guadalupe County Children’s Advocacy Center. Each offers the residents the opportunity to get to know the different organizations and find out what they have to offer. They call this the Pachanga, hoping to make an even bigger change in their community.

It’s these types of actions, not just words, that make the difference in our community. It’s commendable that they’ve taken something as small as picking up trash and turned it into a movement, one that can change everything.

And that’s the kind of thinking we need to make this city the very best place it can be.

Our Voice is the opinion of the editorial board of the Seguin Gazette.

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