By Erica Thomas, managing editor
BIRMINGHAM — Several businesses are coming together to help clean up the mess after rioters damaged buildings in downtown Birmingham. The group of volunteers is called B’ham Cleanup.
Gusty Gulas, of the Gusty Gulas Group at EXP Realty, said he was inspired to reach out to others after seeing the destruction Monday morning.
“Basically, Monday morning when I woke up, I called around and a bunch of my agents were like, ‘yeah, let’s do it!” said Gulas.
The first stops for the group would be the Alabama Theatre and the Lyric Theatre. The Alabama Theatre had 13 windows and doors damaged. The Lyric had one window broken. So, Gulas continued making phone calls and it wasn’t long before he had Isaac Smith, of Oak Mountain Glass, on board with the project. Smith is selling the glass at-cost and is providing free labor for the replacement of the glass on all windows and doors.
“I’ve always been a fan of those theaters and I saw they were already hit hard by the coronavirus,” said Smith. “So, we wanted to give back to the community a little bit and help them out.”
The person in charge of maintenance for the theatres, Stacy Stabile, said he is thankful for the community’s reaction.
“It’s a blessing for them to do that,” said Stabile. “They just stepped up and hit a home run for us!”
Gulas said as long as there is a need, B’ham Cleanup will continue to try and help others in the community and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. To donate, you can give on Venmo @Bhamcleanup or on PayPal at BhamCleanup@gmail.com.
Several people have already donated funds, plywood, nails and other materials. That is something Gulas was thankful for.
“We also want to try to help with the businesses downtown by putting up protection for their storefronts,” said Gulas. “We have just come together to really help out our city because we love our city and we love our country.”
The next stop for the group will be at the California Fashion Mall. The business was broken into and set on fire.