GALESBURG — It's hard not to miss Ryan "Sprinkles" Crane. You may have seen him walking along Henderson, Main and Kellogg Streets, wearing bright neon shorts, a wide-brimmed straw hat, a fanny pack with a sprinkles design, and a trash grabber in hand.
Crane started out by running as a way to stay fit, and soon noticed trash along his route. He started carrying rubber gloves to stop and pick up the garbage he saw, and soon started walking as his route grew longer.
"I kept going farther and farther and finding more stuff. There's a lot of trash in this town," laughs Crane.
Today his route, which takes him over the Moffitt and Bickerdyke bridges and through downtown, takes about an hour and 40 minutes. Some of the trash he has found include wigs, underwear and liquor bottles, which he disposes of, as well as cell phones and debit cards, which he takes to the Public Safety Building to be reunited with their owners. And through the experience, he has developed a very positive attitude about Galesburg and the people who live in it.
"I love everything about it," he said. "I love the way that people surround each other, and step up to help each other out."
In addition to cleaning up, Crane started sharing that positivity by starting "Flower Friday," where he delivered flowers to area businesses, and dropping off doughnuts and treats, to "bring their spirits up." He also recently created a fundraiser on social media to collect money and items for the Community Hygiene Pantry, raising over $2,100 dollars and a "pile of donations." He has also used his Facebook page to raise money and awareness for the Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank, the Salvation Army food bank and the District 205 "Keisha Cares" (formerly SEL on Wheels) program.
"It's really amazing. I make a Facebook post and the community always steps up to help," Crane said.
Asked what he wants to be known for, Crane replied "I just want to be known as a guy who spreads happiness and positivity around the community."
This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: Galesburg IL man picks up trash and spreads happiness