Cleaning Up Berlin One Can At a Time


December 18, 2013
BERLIN—Jackie Hawkins remains positive despite her worsening condition of Multiple Sclerosis. She believes that no matter what condition people are in, everyone can do their part to keep Berlin clean.

Jackie, a lifetime resident of Berlin, was born in 1962. At the age of 17 Jackie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. However, she didn't let her crippling disease get her down, and she continued to hold three jobs. Her driving force was watching her dad become debilitated by the disease. She knew that, if she could just stay positive and keep moving, she would be okay.

Unfortunately later in life Jackie was also diagnosed with Grand Mal Seizers. Jackie is now 51, and although she is retired, she hasn't stopped helping others. Jackie has made it her mission to do her part, no matter how small, to keep the city clean.

Jackie walks the roads with her 13-year-old dog Chelsea. Dragging her blue recycling bin behind her, she picks up cans and brings them to the recycling center. Jackie collects the tabs and donates them to her church. She says that the tabs benefit the church's youth summer program.

Despite her efforts Jackie still cannot believe the amount of trash that she finds on the side of the road. Just in the past month she estimates that she has picked up nearly 1,000 cans. She believes that if people just follow the simple rule of "You bring out what you take in," that the areas around the community would be much cleaner.

In the summer time Jackie can be found selling her baked goods at the Berlin Farmers Market. She enjoys coming up with new creations like Strawberry Rhubarb Banana Bread. Each month she bakes donuts and brings them to the St. Vincent Nursing Home where she used to work.

Although Jackie is grateful for the good days, she did say that each day is different. She says that there are so many ways that people can volunteer their time in the community, and all they have to do is look around them. Jackie's main message that she wanted to share is that no matter how small you think it is "Doing some d'ting is better than non d'ting". If she can do it, then anyone can.

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