Charlotte man on a mission to change the world... with hugs

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There's not a chance you'll meet Al Blakney and not remember it. The 49-year-old Charlotte man is an independent contractor who picks up recycling materials from area businesses and hauls them away.

But that's just what he does for work. It's just a cover for what he considers his real job.

"I'm on a mission to make everybody happy and bring us all together," Blakney said.

Following him around on his morning routes in a lesson in love. Most every single person he meets - he knows. And every person he knows gets a hug that makes their days brighter.

"It's always a blessing when he comes into our building. We're happy that he's here," said Lucy Helms with Plyler Paper Stock.

"Jesus puts people in your life that you never expect," Helms said, "So you need to be open to whoever you might meet during the day."

Al is one of those people.

His hugs are the kind to win contests with. His smile is even better. His soul carries a duty to make the world a better place. And he fulfills his mission daily.

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