By Belle Hemesath, SODA Vice President
2 and 40. Remember those numbers. They are important. They tell a compelling story. 2 and 40.
A few weeks ago, my little brother and I went for a bike ride on our local bike trail. We were looking forward to the fresh, spring air, the blades of grass emerging from the ground, and the birds singing their approval. We were not looking forward to the big problem we discovered.
Recently, the VCC began a campaign to draw attention to this problem. The Every Can a Crime campaign is a project to show the community the severity of a problem we deal with every day. Although many people believe the main problem with beer cans in the ditch is litter, there is actually a much larger underlying problem. Every beer can in the ditch represents a person who was drinking and driving. When a person chooses to drink and drive they are choosing to endanger not only their own life, but also the lives of everyone else driving on that road. This campaign is an effort to show all community members that every single beer can on the side of the road represents a serious crime.
Because there were so many cans, we decided to pick them up. However, there were too many cans to carry, so we had to make piles and come back with more bags. The most upsetting part of the experience was riding out to pick up the remaining piles just 15 minutes later and discovering a fresh can in the ditch. I also found cans along the streets in town.
Due to what we saw, it made me worry about all the kids playing outside in the nice weather. They could be hit and killed by a drunk driver whose reflexes have been slowed. All the cans further convinced me the community has a serious problem.
Take some time to look around and spot the cans. I guarantee it will not be difficult.
Do you remember the numbers? 2 and 40. One is ‘miles from my house to my school’ and the other is ‘beer cans found along one side of the road’. Any guesses as to which number belongs to which?
Interested in spreading the Every Can A Crime message? Contact Ryan at the Valley Community Coalition.