About 4 million people in Georgia get their daily drinking water from the Chattahoochee River, making it the most heavily used water resource in the state. Aflac, which has headquarters in Columbus, wants to help protect and preserve this important resource. The company joined the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission to collect trash from parks, recreational areas and the banks of the river at their annual Help the Hooch event.

Not only is the Chattahoochee River an important source of clean drinking water, it's also a wildlife habitat, making it a crucial part of the ecosystem. Since 1987, the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission has facilitated cleanup efforts, engaging and educating the community about how to become better stewards of the environment.

"Participating in the cleanup effort is very satisfying," says Janet Burden, Aflac employee and Help the Hooch volunteer. "Not just the obvious rewards of picking up trash, but it helps to get a person out into nature."

Beverly Kinner, chairwoman of the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission, expressed her gratitude to the volunteers, who collected 137,840 pounds of trash from the Chattahoochee this year.

"Aflac employees have been so helpful, and so enthusiastic about these kinds of projects," says Kinner. "We feel that they're vital to making this not only important and successful, but fun."

Transcript

S1: Keep Columbus Beautiful is a very special service organization. Our mission statement is to engage and educate the community, at becoming better stewards of our environment. We've been in Columbus since 1987, so I am very pleased that we are currently celebrating 25 years of existence. The Chattahoochee river is vital to our life. It's in our backyard and Help the Hooch is a clean-up awareness project and it's been a very successful program. We had 10,000 people this past year help the Hooch event, and they scour parks, recreational areas, the banks of the Chattahoochee, picking up and disposing of all the trash and debris that they find.

S2: Participating in the cleanup effort is very satisfying. Not just the obvious rewards of picking up trash, but it helps to get a person out into nature. The community wants to have a clean water resource. We've got wildlife that depends on the river. We've got cities down river that depend on our water supply. We need to do everything that we can to keep it clean. I have helped the Hooch many, many times before. I started back when my oldest daughter was in third grade and she has since graduated from college.

S1: The Aflac employees have been so helpful and so enthusiastic, through these kind of projects. We feel that they're vital to making this not only important and successful, but fun. Getting involved in Keep Columbus Beautiful is really quite a simple matter. Pick up the phone and call Keep Columbus Beautiful or come on in the door. We're always looking for good volunteers.