Megaphone executive director Sean Condon says goodbye to vendor Danny Maloney, who sold the street paper and Hope in Shadows for two decades in Kitsilano.
I'm sorry to let you know that long-time Megaphone vendor Danny Maloney passed away two weeks ago, from lung disease. It's a huge loss for his family, friends, customers, and Megaphone family.
Danny sold the magazine and Hope in Shadows calendars for more than two decades, starting with Spare Change in the early '90s and sticking with the paper through its many changes. When the paper relaunched as Megaphone in 2008, he was a strong veteran presence who helped give it a new life.
Selling the paper had a profound impact on Danny. When he started, he struggled with addiction, poverty and mental illness. The paper saved his life.
“I really had no outlet until I started working as a vendor," he once told me. "It gave me the chance to interact and socialize with people and to turn my life around."
But he had an even bigger impact on his customers in Kitsilano. He was warm and kind to everyone he met, connecting with people outside the Whole Foods. He looked out for them, as much as they looked out for him. Our Facebook page is filled with touching tributes about what Danny meant to them.
Danny is how I was introduced to this project. He showed me how powerful street papers can be: how they can change people's ideas about poverty, about others, and about themselves. When I started working with the paper nine years ago, he was there to help guide and support both me and the project.
Losing someone like Danny is hard, especially for a small organization like Megaphone. How do we move on? It's been hard on everyone here, from the vendors to the staff. We miss his sweet smile when he'd come into the office to pick up papers and how he'd ask us all how we were doing. For someone who had very little, he taught us that love is what makes us rich.
We can't possibly replace him, but we'll continue to work through his legacy. We'll continue to try and make the world a better place, one smile at a time. And we'll continue to remind people that lives can change, one Megaphone sale at a time.
For those of you who'd like to say goodbye to Danny, there will be a memorial on Tuesday, April 7th at the Kitsilano Community Centre (2690 Larch St.) from 12-1 p.m.