CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - You might have seen the post about Tony Puczylowski. I put it out ten days ago. He was picking up garbage along the side of a road as a volunteer mission. His dad – seen here with him – taught him to do so every week.
Tony challenged all of us to do the same. Wherever, he said. City street or country road. Facebook says 150,000 saw that post (here >> http://tinyurl.com/TonyFillABag) and tonight we have an update to Tony and where his challenge now stands.
FIRST UPDATE: A man named Brooks with Aldersgate Retirement Community in Charlotte reached out, asking to connect with Tony. They talked, and in one short week, Brooks has over 500 residents he hopes to get to follow Tony’s lead with the #FillABagChallenge. He said his neighbors have been cooped up since COVID and are in need of something like this.
“That just shows any age can get involved,” Tony said. “I started picking up trash with my dad as a kid. Brooks said he has 80-year-old friends who read my story and want to participate. It’s an easy and healthy way to give back.”
- SECOND UPDATE: Tony and his dad were driving through North Carolina last week with a veteran suicide bike ride from Mission 22. The biking participants went through pouring rain – even flooding (safely) – for multiple days to raise awareness about the high rate of suicide among men and women who serve our country. Tony and his dad picked up trash for the #FillABagChallenge along the route. That’s where this picture comes from. I’ll put another one of the bikers below in comments.
“I just wanted to say thank you to these fine folks who were riding,” he says. “It was amazing, amazing stuff to watch them together. We’d stop, pick up trash, then pull back into the caravan. They ended their ride in Plymouth, North Carolina.”
- THIRD UPDATE: Tony says tons of people have contacted him over the last ten days and he really feels like this could take off. Besides Brooks, he says Adopt-A-Highway has also gotten in touch with him, as well as Duke Cannon Supply Co.
“I’m keeping the momentum going while it lasts,” Tony said. “If you want to do the challenge, you just do it. Encourage others, too. No one should litter, but we can pick up what others put down. The baby steps from some of us can add up to miles of road.”
Tony keeps gloves and trash bags in the back of his pick-up (see picture from the link ten days ago… again, that’s here >> http://tinyurl.com/TonyFillABag). He has also recently tried to invest in some reflective gear so he and any volunteers that join him – and there have been plenty since his idea got out there – can wear that while on the side of the road.
Kudos to you, my friend. Thanks for the positive updates. Lots of people looking for extra things to do with family during these bizarre times.