Charleston Rec Center’s Safety City gets clean up held during Day of Caring

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Volunteers from United Way of Central West Virginia are giving back to the City of Charleston to help clean up the police department’s Safety City.

The building, located behind the North Charleston Recreation Center ball fields, is designed to educate students about traffic safety.

On Wednesday, volunteers were busy power washing the building, repainting the inside and trimming trees as part of United Way’s 17th annual Day of Caring.

“We’re just trying to revitalize it and get it back up and going so we can start teaching kids again,” said Charleston Police Lt. David Payne.

Kanawha County Schools will bus students to the site where they will then hear from police officers about ways to stay safe.

“We teach them about pedestrian safety, road safety, what do you do when you see a gun or needles?” Payne said.

Payne said it’s about building trust and creating positive relationships within the community.

“We try to pick up on things that maybe teachers don’t cover in schools or that parents don’t cover. We just want them to know that they can talk to police officers and that we’re their friend,” he said.

The goal is to get new go-carts, Payne said.

“Ours were stolen here, so that’s why we’re going to replace those. That’s what the kids look forward to the most,” he said.

Volunteers worked with non-profit organizations and human service providers across fives counties Wednesday including Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Clay and Logan counties.