TAMPA, Fla. — Bands of strong rain and chilly temperatures Sunday didn't keep hundreds of volunteers from cleaning up the streets of Tampa Bay after Gasparilla

About 250 spent their morning scouring Bayshore Boulevard and the surrounding neighborhoods, where thousands had gathered for the annual pirate event he day before.

About 40 of those volunteers were students at Plant High School.

"All this trash is going to go out into the sewers and go out into the water and kill a bunch of animals. That's what is really getting me out here," student Reagan Flynn said.

The cleanup was organized by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. Volunteers were instructed to sort the litter into three categories: trash, recyclables, and beads. 

The beads collected will be donated to the MacDonald Training Center, a facility that serves those with developmental disabilities. There, they will be cleaned and repacked, then sold back to Gasparilla Krewes at a discounted rate to be used in years to come.

If you took home beads and would like to repurpose them, they can be dropped off at Copeland Park, Loretta Ingraham, Kate Jackson, and Port Tampa community centers starting February 4. 

The MacDonald Training Center on West Cypress Street is also open every weekday and accepting bead donations.

Bead collection sites

  • Copeland Park Community Center, 11001 N. 15th St.
  • Kate Jackson Community Center, 821 S. Rome Ave.
  • Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex, 1611 N. Hubert Ave.
  • MacDonald Training Center, 5420 W. Cypress St. (weekdays 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
  • Port Tampa Community Center, 4702 W. McCoy St.

Starts February 4. For more information, email Edgar.CastroTello@tampagov.net or call (813) 348-6504.

Gasparilla bead donation sites