MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — We’re in the final days of summer vacation. Classes start in less than a week for Alabama’s largest school system, Mobile County. Volunteers were getting ready at Mary B. Austin Elementary School Saturday morning.

Whether it’s raking up debris from the courtyard or spreading mulch, these volunteers are spreading cheer at a time that can be both joyous and difficult for kids and parents.

“We just love this time of year, we want the kids to be excited and everything to be perfect for them,” said John Jansen with the Mary B. Austin PTA. “This is a small effort to make a big difference when the first day of school comes around.”

“We all know they’re excited and nervous to get back and if we can make the school look as welcoming as possible it just makes for a great first day everything is just so overgrown from the summer,” said Hill Aeiker with Mary B. Austin PTA.

The group helping clean this elementary school is a mix of volunteers from the school’s Parent-Teacher Association and Spring Hill Presbyterian Church.

“I just enjoy getting out and doing it, I’ve taught school for 50 years and I’m retired after 50 years I’m still part of this, I still love to be around and help the schools that sort of thing,” said Buddy Porter with the church.

It’s a lot of work with a tangible result in the end.

“Being a pastor I often don’t have much to show for the day when I do something so being able to come over and actually do something physical and step back and say oh yeah, I stepped back and I used the weed eater or trimmed the bushes it’s a good feeling to know I actually did something,” said interim pastor Cary Speaker.

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