Social Capital: Al Green

Al Green

In his mid-70s, Green has been happily married for 52 years and works one day a week driving the courtesy shuttle for a local car dealership. But the bulk of his time you will find him out in the community, doing everything from wearing red high heels to ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ to donning a Santa suit for Victorian Christmas celebrations at Eldon House.

“I’ve done volunteer work with 18 to 20 different organizations around the city, but the ones I’ve worked with the longest are the Grand Theatre, Children’s Hospital, Brickenden Awards [for independent live theatre], Pillar [Nonprofit Network] and the Fringe Festival.

I’m at the Grand three or four times a week during theatre season, ushering or taking tickets, transporting actors to their billets or to and from the train station, and I really enjoy my involvement as a chaperone with the high school production every year.

One of my longest running projects was for Big Brothers Big Sisters. They had a wishing well in Masonville Mall, and ended up with three green plastic garbage cans full of change… and gum and a few other things. It took me three years to sort, clean and wrap it all—it ended up being close to $10,000.

For the past 14 years, I’ve been at the Brickendens in my top hat and tails and white gloves. I’m the guy who brings the trophies out to the presenters. Word got around, and I started to get calls from different organizations. Now you’ll see me all over town at charity golf tournaments and special events.

I help Pillar with registrations for business meetings and special events. They were the ones who nominated me when I received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2014.”

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