Friday, 13 July 2007

Green Berets

The Toronto Sun's popular Marc the Litter Guy story by Kevin Connor is still a big draw on, Glenn Garnett reports in his Inside the Sun blog.

Kevin's front page story about a down and out guy who cleans the streets for donations because he doesn't want to panhandle was in Tuesday. Mike Strobel did a followup column Wednesday.

When you talk about positive Sun news stories, this is a classic.

Readers are applauding Marc the Litter Guy, who said he can make $10 an hour in donations picking up trash. They are hoping Toronto will become a cleaner city with others taking up the cause.

Numerous bloggers and forums have picked up the story, with an overwhelming positive response, i.e. Walk On My Path, C2NN, Free Dominion, DIGG, etc.

The potential for a new way of life for panhandlers reminds us of lyrics in Arlo Guthrie's classic Alice's Restaurant where he says one person doing something might be ignored, two people might also be rejected, but three might be considered an organization and 50 people a day would have some people calling it a movement.

Marc the Litter Guy's innovation has miles to go before it can be called a movement, but with the cooperation of bureaucrats, the media, citizens and panhandlers, Toronto could become the apple of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's eye.

Bloomberg's efforts to beautify New York from the litter on up to broken windows and buildings in need of repair have been a huge success.

Toronto would have to get tough and give panhandlers two choices - risk arrest for panhandling or volunteer to help clean up debris in selected areas where the city's sanitation workers don't clean.

You could call the volunteers The Green Berets, with no disrespect to John Wayne.

Provide them with gloves, green garbage bags and green berets to make it easier for citizens to spot them and make donations.

Have Toronto residents report locations that are an eyesore.

The potential is there to return Toronto's long lost title of the Cleanest City in Canada, while making the streets panhandler-free.

It is a win-win scenario.

A movement launched by a front page Toronto Sun story on a quiet news day.

That would be one big feather in the caps of Marc the Litter Guy, Kevin Connor, Mike Strobel et al.

Or not.

Meanwhile, blog readers inspired by the story have two questions:

Has someone offered Marc the Litter Guy a full-time job?

Where can they send Marc a donation by mail?

1 comment:

  1. To all the nice folks out there, if you would like to help Mark the Litter Guy, I am in contact with him on a regular basis, feel free to email me with any questions, help, suggestions or ideas, I am more than happy to pass it along.

    If you are business owner, your shop, building, or know of "a litter hotspots" in the downtown Toronto area that could be serviced by Mark the Litter Guy, please let me know, I am sure Mark would be happy to help.

    Right now, I would like to help Mark get a pair of prescription glasses, so if anyone out there know someone or is willing to donate their services (or exchange for Mark's services) as an optometrist, please let me know.

    If you are curious how our friendship started, you can read it from here.