Mark Cherrington, Age: 50
Hometown: Edmonton
Influential because: He really, really cares

#yeg Mom cut off Welfare, has a hungry baby. Need Size 4 Diapers and Similac. Get her through this tough time. Text/call 587-XXX-XXXX.”

Mark Cherrington’s Twitter feed is one of the most unforgettable you will ever read.

Cherrington has been working with young, poor and vulnerable people in Edmonton for more than 20 years. For the past two, however, he’s been tweeting the stories of the day-to-day challenges that these people face. The tweets are stark, illuminating snapshots, telling of homelessness, addiction, crime and abuse. His use of Twitter to tell the otherwise silenced stories of often forgotten people has become a new portal for many people to develop a greater understanding of the lives of Alberta’s most vulnerable. “I’m using social media to express a demographic that is very marginalized and people don’t understand,” he says.