You don’t need to bring gloves or any equipment.
Just show up at 8 a.m. Saturday in the Winn-Dixie parking lot, preferably wearing patriotic-themed clothing, and prepare for hard work in honor of a local hero.
Hurricane Irma downed trees at a property occupied by the mother of Vietnam War hero Charles Richard Beall. U.S. Highway 17-92 is named in his honor.
Now his mom, 88-year-old Arbutus Beall, and her family need help, according to community activist Bret Douglas, a volunteer who runs the DeBary Legacy page on Facebook.
The DeBary businessman is asking for volunteers to help clear downed trees from her property on Monroe Avenue.
Douglas, a Gulf War-area veteran and horticulturalist, wants the cleanup to be a celebration of Charles Richard Beall’s life.
Beall was 20 when he was fatally wounded on March 6, 1968 while storming enemy bunkers during the Viet Cong Tet Offensive.
He attacked as snipers shot at an army convoy.
As his platoon tried to rescue the convoy, Beall “rushed the bunkers, one by one, firing into them. Three bunkers were destroyed. He was killed attacking the fourth,” the Orlando Sentinel said in 1996.
That was the year U.S. 17-92 in DeBary was renamed in his honor.
“I think this is worse than Matthew,” he said, referring to a powerful hurricane in October 2016. Then, as now, the burly man muscled into action.
Douglas, who owns a DeBary landscaping firm called Ironclad Landscape Management, has been highlighted on social media for working hard to help those who need it the most.
The 50-year-old volunteers in DeBary by removing trees, trimming limbs and fixing fences. He said he focuses on helping the elderly, disabled and low-income residents.
Douglas is also building a local ministry with a food bank for the needy.
He says he gets about five to six calls per week from people who need help.
“We answer them all,” Douglas said.
Anyone who wants to help Douglas clean up Arbutus Beall’s property should show up at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of Winn-Dixie at 2 N. Charles R. Beall Blvd.
Douglas will lead volunteers in a prayer and provide directions to the Beall home. He’ll also provide drinks and food. And gloves.
“Just show up,” he added.
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