At age 83, Catherine Stephenson Crane rises every morning at 5 a.m. to sweep up her North Richmond neighborhood daily, starting on Market Avenue and Fred Jackson Way.
She sweeps not only in front of her property but also in front of her neighbors’. Some days she can be seen sweeping down Market Avenue until Giaramita Street, which is four blocks away, completing her work by 11 a.m.
This daily routine is just one of many selfless acts Crane, a veteran community servant in North Richmond, is known for around town.
On Thursday, the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council (NRMAC) awarded Crane with a lifetime community service award.
For more than a decade, Crane has packed food bags for families in need as part of the brown bag program. She is one of the original participants in the annual North Richmond Willie Spears Community Cleanup. She is also a member of the North Richmond Neighborhood House’s Multicultural Senior and Family Center, a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church and serves on the NRMAC cohort of historians subcommittee on North Richmond historical landmarks.
Crane was overcome with emotion when she was honored Thursday.
“I love what I’m doing, and I’ve been very sick at times, but never stopped what I do in my community, and the Lord has blessed me to still be able to do it,” Crane said.
She added, “I also do it for my health, to keep these old bones from creaking up on me.”
Information and photo for this report provided by Robert Rogers, district coordinator for the Office of County Supervisor John Gioia