12-year-old shoeshine back to work shining shoes after county booted him from courthouse

Shoeshine raising money for missionary trip

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - While other kids play this summer, Patrick MacGregor is back at work.

Outside the historic Hernando County courthouse, Paddy''s Shoeshine is once again open for business.

It's just $2 a shine, and the 12-year-old doesn't want handouts.

"The tips are fine, but people just walking by without shoes to shine, they just give me, like 10 bucks."

"You're not looking for that."


Patrick had earned about $200 toward a church missionary trip he's going on.

But then after three days, he got booted from the courthouse, because of a county rule saying he had to be insured.

"I want to respect the law, and I don't want to make them look bad, so I just left," said MacGregor.

Many thought the move was petty and sent the wrong message.  But then a local non-profit group called Love your Neighbor found a solution.

They made Patrick a volunteer, which puts him under their liability insurance.

"I used to cut lawns when I was 8, 9 years old, and I used to shovel driveways.  To give the kid an opportunity and not to discourage him, that's why we did," said John Callea, with Love Your Neighbor and also owner of Rising Sun Cafe in downtown Brooksville.

The county says they didn't want to the be the bad guys, they just worried that making one exception would open the door for too many others.

But now the is problem solved, and those scuffed shoes will once again shine.

Print this article Back to Top