BY KALISHA MENDONSA
A local man has taken it upon himself to tidy up the streets of Lacombe – from his wheelchair, no less – in hopes of inspiring other citizens to be more mindful of litter.
Don Fifield lost his right leg to an amputation many years ago but doesn’t let his limited mobility stop him from being mobile on the issue of keeping Lacombe beautiful.
Each day, Fifield takes time to cruise through the streets and tidy up the area around him.
“I only do this because I see the streets get dirty and I don’t like a dirty town,” Fifield said.
Fifield said he’s always had an interest in keeping a clean community, from his time living in Olds, to moving out to Tees and now back in Lacombe where he once resided.
Sometimes, he is joined by his wife Carol, and the two of them will move through the City as he does his work.
“Carol can’t come with me too much anymore because of her MS, but she’s happy to let me do my route,” he said.
Don said he’s thankful for the people in the community who have realized his efforts, and who have taken the time to thank him or be kind to him in their own way.
He said he’s had a few people present him with gift cards or other endowments of kindness for his actions, and though he’s tried to give them back, he said he’s thankful either way.
“Once, I was out on Main Street near the highway, and a woman I’d never met before in my life gave me a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant. Usually, I try to give gifts back but she wouldn’t have it. I’d just rather give something to other people than to take it from them,” he said.
When asked what began his efforts, Don simply said he’s always disliked seeing litter and that he just wants to live in a clean town.
“It’s for the City as much as it is for me and I’ll keep doing it as long as a I can,” he said.
A load of logs rolled over Don’s legs during a work incident when he was in his early 20s and he has had problems with his spine and legs ever since. His right leg was amputated, but he insisted on keeping his left as it wasn’t as badly damaged.
He’s survived a heart attack and four spinal fusions – but nothing dims his charm and happiness.
Don said he’s going to continue his task and simply hopes people think of him and reconsider leaving litter, cigarette butts in particular, on the ground around the City.