Downeast Horizons hosts Earth Day Clean-Up at local cemetery

BREWER, Maine (WABI) - Over fifty volunteers spent their afternoon participating in Downeast Horizon's annual Earth Day Clean-Up.

"I feel it is incredibly important to do whatever we can to help the environment."

Area children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism, their caregivers and family members cleaned up Oakhill Cemetery in Brewer.

"I heard Earth Day clean up and I was like, 'oh yeah I am there 100%.'"

Downeast Horizons is a non-profit helping to serve folks with disabilities in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Waldo Counties.

"A lot of folks that we help with autism and developmental disabilities don't necessarily get the opportunities to help out because some people think they are an individual with a disability so maybe they can't, but here we give them the chance."

They host community-based service projects throughout the year for local people with disabilities.

"It builds self-confidence, it builds their self-esteem that they are a productive part a society and it is rewarding to people to just give back and if given the opportunity anybody can help somebody else."

The city of Brewer says they greatly appreciate the help.

"What they do in a couple of hours takes three or four of my guys a couple of days to do. Just the more hands, the better of it is, and with spring with all the damage it really makes a huge difference."

Downeast Horizons hopes to keep cleaning up the cemetery for many years to come.

"I just encourage everybody, not just people with disabilities, but everybody to give back to their communities. It is such a wonderful thing."