Caroline Center Pharmacy Technician Program Coordinator Christine Guay, PharmD, is definitely not "waiting for the world to change."
And, while she most likely was not waiting specifically for the #30daysofpickinguplitter challenge, let's just say that Christine Guay is kind of a "natural fit" for this trending social media phenomenon. She loves the outdoors - the natural state of things. And, in Baltimore City, the natural state of things includes well-scrubbed stoops, swept up sidewalks, and streets free enough of litter so that you can put your lawn chair out to mark your parking space.
For the past several years, Caroline Center staff, trainees, and visitors as well as neighbors and IND students arriving for school, might greet Christine in the early morning. Any day, in any weather, Christine can be found with broom and dust pan in hand and large trash bags at the ready, walking briskly and with focus up and down Somerset Street between Eager Street and Ashland Avenue. Her mission: Caring for the earth, one city block at a time.
The block in East Baltimore where Caroline Center is located is an historic site for the School Sisters of Notre Dame - the place where the SSND's North American foundress, Mother Caroline Friess, SSND, began her day-to-day work as a teacher and her life's work as founder of a congregation. It's hard to say to what degree this history informs Christine Guay's energy and enthusiasm, but she has born witness to Somerset Street in every season.
She knows the challenges that summer storms bring - washing all manner of discarded items in a steady downhill stream rushing along the gutters.
She knows the leaves of fall - where in the world do they all come from in the heart of the city? But, they do come - in great, dancing swirls every year.
She finds what the snow has covered when the streets begin to warm.
And, in spring, she tends to the weeds and those first exuberant signs of being outdoors - cups and straws and fast food wrappings of every type.
When the tree limbs are bare and when they leaf out and are in bloom, Christine is the one you'll find standing below and looking up - at perhaps dozens of little black bags caught in a natural snare. Some days, the bags whisper from above, gently swaying on their lazy perches. Other days, their flapping chatter can be heard all along the block as they're tossed by the breeze.
Of one thing we can be certain, though - when the little black bags get loose and float to the ground, they won't be there for long. At Caroline Center, we are morethan#30daysofpickinguplitter.