PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Just a few weeks ago, Adam Fariss, owner of Iron Heart Winery, was picking up trash on the side of the road just a short distance from his winery.
When he was done, he felt he could do more.
“So I took pictures and then put it on social media and offered a $250 raffle for anybody that would submit a picture of the trash they picked up, 30-gallon bags,” Fariss said.
Not even 24 hours later, Fariss said another business reached out to him, wanting to throw in a contribution of their own to the raffle.
Then, another business added to the pot.
Barely two weeks since that first trash pickup, the raffle is now at $2,900, to be divided into five prizes.
Fariss, who says the trash problem in Pulaski County has gotten out of hand, says he was thrilled to see such a quick show of support from the business and resident community.
“It seems like many people from the area have noticed this and are ready to try and improve that,” he said.
To get involved, Pulaski County residents can take a picture of their trash pickup and send it to Iron Heart’s Facebook page.
A single 30-gallon trash bag gets you an entry, and if you fill a truck bed you get ten entries.
The thing that strikes Fariss is that people submitting photos aren’t doing just the bare minimum.
Fourteen entries have been made so far, and the least of them is two bags and the most 38.
One-hundred and forty-two bags in total have been picked up, 10 of which are from Vickey Goff and her son Miles.
“I thought it was great that Iron Heart found a creative way to get the community involved,” Vickey said. “Just imagine if everybody stepped up and did an hour a week or something, how much of a difference and impact we could all make.”
“We went out to Barren Springs and we picked up nine bags of trash,” Miles said, talking about picking up trash with his dad a few days before. ” Seeing even just half as much as it originally was, it just feels so great. It feels like you’ve actually done something.”
The momentum has all but forced Fariss and the other raffle contributors to extend the submission deadline from April 1 to May 1, looking to see how much more could be done in this grass-roots effort to clean up Pulaski County.
“It’s just making the community what we’d like for it to be, and that’s beautiful,” Fariss said.
Fariss said there is going to be a big trash pickup along Highway 11 in Dublin on Saturday, March 20.