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Meet January's Neighborhood Hero: David Aaron

Most people reserve hobbies for themselves... for their own enjoyment! This month's Neighborhood Hero has a unique hobby... one that benefits his entire community.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — Lots of times, the weekends are reserved for your hobbies. For David Aaron, January's Neighborhood Hero, his hobby time is spent picking up litter near his home in North Alabama.

"I could be doing anything. I could be golfing, I could be fishing, I could be hiking. But what am I doing here most weekends? Well, I'm doing this, usually about sunrise, but I can't stop." Aaron laughed as he explained his unusual hobby, one he's been doing in the same area for more than 25 years.

Partly, it's as simple as him wanting to keep things clean. "I drive up and down this road every day and I don't want to have to see it. that's why." But really, it goes much deeper than that.

"It's a spiritual thing. That's how deep it is for me. It's deeper than just trash. This is home and I can't go any further than this. And this is, this is, this is what I do to make living here, the beautiful place Alabama is, and this is one of the prettiest places in the country. And I've lived in different areas of the country and this is by far the most pretty place I've ever lived.  And it's just so senseless that people would do this kind of thing and not enjoy the beauty of Alabama and its fragile ecosystem." 

Picking up litter is something Aaron enjoys doing, just naturally... but while he's at it, he's also benefiting the community. Most of the time, he's going solo, but he says those who choose not to litter, are the ones helping him in the long run. "It's getting me some exercise. And it's all, it's just a win-win, you know? For me though, I just wish people didn't do it. But all I can do is pray. And I do believe it's gotten a little better. But I'm going to keep doing it as long as I can. Period."

Just moments after our interview, a kind neighbor rolled up with a gift for Aaron - a handwritten "thank you" note on a blue paper towel. If you look closely [to the video above] you can see Aaron mention that he's going to hang it up on his refrigerator. He later told me he'd rather be gifted this than a thousand dollars. 

Well, I texted David Aaron to see if he kept his promise and although it may not be on his refrigerator, he definitely kept his promise and that's why he's this month's, Neighborhood Hero.

Credit: David Aaron
The 'Thank You' note David Aaron was gifted by a kind neighbor while picking up litter.

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