Community members band together to clean up Red Lion, literally and figuratively

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

Red Lion community members met again to discuss what they can do to improve their town, this time with topics ranging from picking up trash to helping a produce stand.

Mike Adams, who helped organize the informal community meetings, said he regularly goes out every weekend to pick up trash along specific streets. He will announce details for street cleanups on the Red Lion Community Page on Facebook. 

“It’s about doing things to help the world,” he said during the meeting at Grace Lutheran Church, explaining he believes he picked up five bags of trash on the weekend of March 11 from Summit Lane. To entice people, Adams posts times and dates along with clues for what street they will clean. 

Adams joked this gives him good yoga skills, due to the constant bending over to pick up trash. But he also feels doing this or serving others is a stress reduction. 

“There’s joy there,” he said, adding that he believes the more he serves, the more joy he fosters.

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He also recently showed 18 South Youth Center teenagers how to unicycle. He reminded the members that if they have a craft or talent they can teach, they can share it at the center. 

Another community member, Jennie Donahue, said she started a produce stand in front of her house. It was first born out of a free community garden but grew when she saw the needs of her neighborhood. 

Residents Mike Adams, on left, and Jennie Donahue, on left, speaking at the crime meeting in Red Lion on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

“Mostly over the winter, people started filling (the stand) so much that we added extra stands on it,” she said, explaining she is trying to manage the items that come in. “It started as a way to give.”

But now, the stand is populated by more than produce. Canned goods, boxed food and products such as blenders appear on the stand. 

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When Adams asked Donahue how they can help, she suggested better containers. There was a waterproof container, but it was taken. She said she can only do so much, and it's a problem when it rains on the boxed food, clothes or puzzle books. 

“Spread the word,” Donahue said. “And tell people to take stuff. Help each other out.”

Pennsylvania State Trooper James Grothey at the crime meeting in Red Lion on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

Michael Smith, a Pennsylvania State constable in Lower Windsor Township, said the current class on how to not be a victim — which offers lessons on home defense, situational awareness and more — is full. However, there will be more classes in the future. To find these classes, check out

State Police Trooper James Grothey also spoke about what the state police can do about the unsheltered population in Red Lion.

“As far as we're concerned, it's not illegal to be homeless,” he said, explaining the state troopers will enforce state laws. If someone is on private property or in a park after dark, the police will ask the people to move and offer to take them to a shelter. 

A crime meeting in Red Lion on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

Grothey said more than likely, the state police do welfare checks and check in on people who are sleeping on a bench. He also reminded the members to lock their doors at night because most of the car break-ins are when cars are unlocked. 

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Dee Kerr, the church’s financial secretary, also asked for donations. She said a group collects money to buy feminine hygiene products for the teenagers at Red Lion Area High School. 

“I was shocked at the number of girls that don’t go to school,” she said, explaining that teens won’t go to school when they can’t afford those products. 

The group meets once a month on Tuesdays. To find out the next date or more information, check the Red Lion Community Page on Facebook at

— Reach Meredith Willse at or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.