3 ways you can get involved with the cleanup effort in Birmingham

A busted out door in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Early Monday morning, the Birmingham community went to work cleaning up the damage of the previous night. However, the work is not all done—so if you have the ability, here are three ways you can help with the cleanup effort.

Keeping Birmingham Beautiful, One Step at a Time

One of Birmingham’s many helpers. Photo via Mathew Niblett for Bham Now

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

Mr. Rogers.

I have always believed that Birmingham is a special place. To me, it feels like Birmingham has the community of a small town, but on a large scale. And Monday morning, the Birmingham community proved they are here for one another.

A large number of people began to set up groups and get to work cleaning up and repairing the damage from Sunday’s night of civil unrest. Birminghamians from all around town began sweeping up glass, boarding up shop windows and cleaning graffiti.

Here are three ways you can help with the effort.

1. Join the Cleanup Crew

Helpers working to board up windows in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Whether it’s sweeping up glass, helping to board up windows and doors, or cleaning graffiti off of walls, there are many ways you can aid in the downtown cleanup.

Keep an eye on local Facebook groups to see where help is needed, or take a drive through downtown to see who needs a helping hand. For instance, Urban Impact Birmingham is requesting help with graffiti removal in the 4th Ave Business District. We will update the article as we find out more.

Tips:

  • Abide by curfew: As of June 1, Birmingham is under mandatory curfew from 7PM to 6AM.
  • Wear protective clothing: Nobody wants to end up with a shard of glass in their foot, so wear thick-soled shoes and thick gloves if you plan to pick up glass.

2. Donate Supplies

Cleaning up broken glass in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The cleanup crew is only as good as the supplies they have, so everything you can bring counts. Here are some supplies you can bring to help out:

  • Brooms, rakes, brushes & mops.
  • Heavy gloves, such as rubber.
  • Trash bags.
  • Power washer.
  • Plywood, if you have extra, to help board up broken windows and doors.

And if you want to show your appreciation to the cleanup crew, you can bring snacks, water, Gatorade and more (sweet tea, anyone??) to give them a boost.

3. Help Small Businesses Get Back on Their Feet

Charm on 2nd was damaged during Sunday night’s evening of unrest. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

After Sunday night’s evening of unrest, at least 12 properties in Birmingham were damaged and looted. In a news conference on Monday, Mayor Randall Woodfin recommended people connect with Bham Strong, one of the new innovative agencies that has been helping local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For businesses affected by the riot, the Birmingham Business Relief Fund—administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham—will help small businesses get back on their feet. Additionally, non-profit small businesses can reach out to REV Birmingham for support.

Several GoFundMe campaigns and other fundraisers have been launched to help local businesses damaged by Sunday night’s riot. We will update as fit:

Know of other ways Birminghamians can help clean up the city? Tag us @bhamnow and let us know!


  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.