Within 15 minutes of walking along Broughton Street across the street from Prince of Orange Mall, Patrick “Pat” Milhouse, Orangeburg’s notable ”Good Samaritan,” had already picked up half a bag of garbage and a $5 bill.

He said he often finds money along with other discarded items such as cigarette packs, cans, bottles, fast-food wrappers and bags. Over the past five years, he’s totaled over $300 in bills and change as he’s walked around cleaning up eyesores on the roadside. He picks up roughly 300 pounds of aluminum cans a year.

Milhouse said one of the greatest treasures he’s discovered so far happened to be a gold bracelet that had been washed into a ditch. He dug it out, took it to the pawn shop and was rewarded a $200 payday for his efforts.

“If I had known whose it was, I would have gladly given it back to them, but there was no way to tell,” said the kind-hearted gentleman.

Since Milhouse retired from the National Guard, where he went to work after Greenwood Mills closed, he’s had the need to get out and do something. So what better way to spend his time than helping to keep his “back yard” looking its best seven days a week.

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“I have just got to be outside. I can’t stay in the house. I’ve already seen all the ‘Gunsmoke’ movies,” the good-natured humorist remarked.

“It’s curious, isn’t it? You buy a color television and then you watch black-and-white movies,” he laughed.

“I’ve got a little project in front of Goodyear, the little island. There’s a bunch of trash up in there, so that’s my project,” Milhouse said.

“My wife volunteers at the hospital and she works with the Garden Club. She has her hobbies, and I got my little hobby,” he said light-heartedly.

In addition to driving around in his GMC truck, picking up two bags of trash a day, one for himself and one for his wife, Pat said he takes shopping carts back to their respective stores after people push them out and leave them in random places.

“I probably average 15,000-20,000 steps, a majority of which come from picking up trash,” he said noting that his frequent presence in the community doing this good deed has inspired others to follow in his shoes.

“When I went to the foot doctor the other day, a man told me, ‘I saw you picking up trash, so I decided I am going to get off my tail and go clean up trash in my neighborhood.’”

“I get plenty of ‘God Bless You’s,’ so I ought to go to heaven with all those,” he laughed.

“You know, if you are not part of the solution, you may be part of the problem. It’s not everyone, so you can’t blame everyone. If everybody would just clean up in front of their own house, there wouldn’t be so much trash on this road,” he said about Broughton Street, which is the road he sponsors.

In addition to his dedicated roadway, Milhouse ventures out to other roads that he often travels, such as Tyler Road and Rivelon Road, which lead him to the house of worship he attends on Sundays.

“I get aggravated when I see trash out there on my way to church. I clean up on Saturday and by Sunday morning, there’s more out there. And when I see trash out on the roadside, I’ve got to pick it up,” he said.

“I clean up Bennett Street and the bypass from Murray Road back to Glover Street, and that’s a project too. By the time you get to one end, you have to go back and start again, because there’s already trash back out there,” he said, shaking his head.

“You need to take pride in Orangeburg, take pride in where you live,” he suggested. “There are several groups and organizations that do pick up trash at certain times of the year, but if more individuals would do their part, it would make such a difference.”

“If you are going to put your name on a sign, adopting a highway, you have to be responsible for it all the time. You can’t just pick it up every quarter. People who throw trash out don’t throw it out by the quarter, they throw it out every day,” he said.

Litter control and good citizens doing what’s right are an ongoing process and Milhouse hopes more Orangeburg residents will step up and keep the places where they work and play clean and beautiful.

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“I turned 77 on St. Patrick’s Day, so I figure if I can do this another 10 years, I will have probably had enough fun,” he said with a chuckle.

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