(TMU) – Volunteers have flocked to the streets of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area to help clean up the shattered glass, graffiti, and other debris left behind in the aftermath of huge protests and widespread unrest resulting from the brutal killing of George Floyd.
Residents from across Minnesota and neighboring states flooded into neighborhoods in the Twin Cities that saw some of the most massive protests and skirmishes with police to help mop and sweep affected areas, MPR News reports.
The volunteers appeared to be drawn from the same diverse demographic groups as those who took the streets throughout the week, with Black, brown, white and Muslim residents all seen participating in the collective clean up effort.
The efforts come as protests continued through the weekend, despite the cities’ declaring curfews restricting the movement of residents.
In my neighborhood. Volunteers by the dozen are cleaning up debris and broken glass along West Lake Street. But I would advise people to avoid driving in the area. It is gridlocked with cars. pic.twitter.com/aXzMtZ64Uz
— Brandt Williams (@BrandtMPR) May 30, 2020
The killing of Floyd on the night of Monday, May 25, over his alleged use of a counterfeit $20 bill– and subsequent viral spread of video footage of his grisly death – turned the Twin Cities metro region into a flashpoint for long-held resentments over police brutality and racism across the United States.
Mayor Jacob Frey, who has been criticized for not using an iron-fisted approach in the first days of protest, imposed a curfew Friday night to help rein in the unrest. In a Twitter post Saturday, he wrote:
“By being out tonight & breaking the 8pm curfew, you are helping the people using crowds as cover to prey on Minneapolis & destroy community.”
Went to clean up East Lake Library this morning. Some burned books, but just a lot of mess. pic.twitter.com/2zRAqMi5Xa
— Tracy Mumford (@mumfordmumford) May 30, 2020
— Caroline Yang (@yangfoto) May 30, 2020
Minneapolis resident Marvin Applewhite is one of the many locals who has volunteered with his neighbors to go around the city to collect trash and clean up the wreckage of the past several days of unrest.
Applewhite set up a GoFundMe on Friday to help raise money for cleaning supplies including brooms, garbage bags, and other cleaning supplies, as well as food, water, refreshments and a small cash stipend to others who help. On his GoFundMe page, he wrote:
“Lots of work needs to be done and I’m willing to lead and get it done. So if there’s anything you can give for this cause will be appreciated.”
Helping cleaning up. Being a service in Minneapolis Minnesota.
Since setting up the page, generous donations from nearly 1,500 people have poured in, easily exceeding his initial $5,000 goal. As of Sunday afternoon, he has reached $46,852 in donations – nearly 10 times his original goal.
In comments left by those who contributed, one could sense support not only for Applewhite’s goal of cleaning the city but also support for the calls for justice surrounding the killing of George Floyd.
A donor named Kerry Kendall commented:
“The world is in such a bad place (racism, covid, etc) and we need people like this to put good out in the world right now. I believe the world CAN change, one person at a time.”
While donor Sharma Affeldt wrote:
“We have a lot of work to do cleaning up the Twin Cities- both literally and figuratively. Let’s all do this together- it’s past time for change.”
The collective efforts of Twin Cities residents to clean up the city following days of massive protests shows that not only are Minnesotans clamoring for justice, but they are also willing to help their community rise from the ashes of the week’s traumatic events, as well.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.
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