LANSING, Mich. —
Lansing resident Ryan Kost is on a mission to clean up Lansing.
"You do as much good as you can for as many people as you can, as long as you can," he said.
Kost spends much of his time walking the city, picking up trash, planting gardens, and doing various other tasks, all to make the city a better place to live.
This past month, he logged 600 miles. And he shares his stories on Facebook.
"It is a mission of mine because I believe in Lansing. Every post that I do, I will share pictures, and I always make sure to mention the people that I meet along the way," he said. "It might be the 95-year-old woman that I met over on Beech Street that talked to me for 15 minutes. She was moving better than me...She was just hurrying out for a walk and was pleased as punch that someone cared."
Ryan works full-time for the state of Michigan, but he heads out to make Lansing more beautiful as soon as work is over. At night, he even drives around looking for streetlights that are out to report them to the Lansing Board of Water and Light.
Ryan says his passion for giving back was instilled in him by his grandparents.
"My Bumpa and Nana instilled in me service, and everyone is equal," he said. "I get fist bumps from people that are total strangers because they know what I'm doing. And it keeps me going. It does. When I am out here for five hours, and I can barely move anymore, and I have to lift 52 lawn leaf bags onto a trailer to take over to my house, I keep going because of the people."
Jodi Washington can't say enough good things about Ryan. She credits him with helping make Lansing a more livable city.
"Ryan Kost is a good neighbor because he is one of our city's unsung heroes," she said. "Ryan is relentless. He works to beautify the city and doesn't ask for a dime from anybody. He doesn't ask for any recognition either. Because of him, you can see, we're pretty much trash-free, and that is definitely Ryan Kost.
Ryan says one of the best parts of picking up the city is meeting new people.
"A touching moment for me was when I was walking one of the streets. I saw a group of kids. One was probably ten years old. He came right up to me on a bike, and he said, 'Are you picking up garbage?' And I said, 'Yes, I am!' And he paused for a second and said, 'That's very nice of you.' He got off his bike, grabbed a couple of pieces of plastic and handed them to me and put them in the bag. I've had other kids do that along the way too. And it is just so heartwarming and fills you with such joy.
Lansing City Councilman Adam Hussain was so impressed with Ryan that he honored him at a recent City Council meeting.
"He is doing work that makes our community more livable, that improves the quality of life," Hussain said. "There are more Ryan Kosts out there, and we have to do a better job pulling back the curtain and saying, you know what, these are the people doing the real work of advancing our city.
Ryan says all the accolades he receives are nice, but he has just one wish.
"What I really want is next time you go for a walk, and you see a piece of garbage, please just pick it up."
Ryan Kost, for going above and beyond to help keep our community beautiful, you are this week's Good Neighbor.
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