Millbrook man making a difference on the street

MILLBROOK, AL (WSFA) - It is hot and humid but Ray Russell wouldn't cared if it was rainy and cold.

"I started out exercising and then realized how dirty it was out there," said Russell.

You'll find Ray picking up the trash along Main Street in Millbrook, cleaning up this part of the world for 15 years and counting, going strong at 75 years old.

On average Ray fills up two bags everyday, a path that stretches around 2 miles. While some would consider this a dirty job, and make no mistake.. it is, Ray Russell has discovered the trash picking chore has become an unlikely gift.

He says doesn't necessarily think about the people who throw trash out. He uses that time to pray.

"I find that my mind is more settled, and I talk to Jesus. The things that used to upset me before don't bother me anymore," Mr. Russell said.

Ray Russell has been known to lend a hand to just about anyone who needs help; a volunteer at the Welcome Center nearby or cutting the grass for other people but it is here on Main Street, all by himself with a trash bag in hand that he feels a connection.

Mr. Russell says he feels good and has no plans to quit.

"I'm starting to get other issues but overall I'm okay," he said.

Another day in the bag, another day to look forward to. Ray Russell starts all over again tomorrow, wiping away someone else's dirty deed and deepening his faith.

"I sometimes wonder why people do this," he said.

Like people who litter.

Cleaning up and having his 'quiet time,' it's become a two-way street for Ray Russell.

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