John and mark get on the water walking bandwagon

April 15, 2010

So, last week, I interviewed Nate, who is walking across the United States for Charity:Water. This week, I learned that John and Mark are also walking across the United States for water. And they were kind enough to tell me about their upcoming trip.

John gave me his phone number. And, I'll be honest, this actually happens to me a lot. I know, I know, you're terribly jealous. Except, well, typically I get the phone numbers of most the people that I write about, because, well, I'm writing about them, and I have don't get your panties in a wad.

But the different/fabulous think about John is that he gave YOU his phone number (listed below). Now, seriously, how often does a strapping young man walking across the United States for a worthy cause just hand you his didgets like this!?

I'd take advantage.

Tell me about your plans to walk across the United States for Charity Water?
Beginning May 11th I, along with my lifelong friend Mark, will begin walking across America in an effort to raise money for Charity: water. This wonderful non-profit organization helps developing countries by providing them access to clean water. Mark and I will be utilizing the American Discovery Trail which spans from Delaware to San Francisco. In total our walk should take us 8 months and will span over 4,300 miles. If we decide to go an extra leg from San Francisco to Los Angeles we will walk another 600 or so miles.

Why water?
The reason I chose water is simple. I lived in the Philippines from 2000-2002. During this time I saw many examples of how a lack of clean water, or a lack of access to it, hindered the growth and development of the society. The truth is, clean water is one of the cornerstones of good health, economic growth, and education. It effects all areas of life.

Why walking?
I felt getting off my rear and getting out talking to people would be a great and unique way to raise awareness for Charity:water. And, quite honestly, I needed a challenge for myself. Walking across America is a challenge I wanted to take head on.

What do you hope to accomplish?
By walking across America, I hope to share with others just how fortunate they are to turn on their faucet and recieve good, clean, drinkable water. I want people to have a better idea of what other nations have to go through to get that same thing. In addition, I hope to raise $100,000 for Charity: water. This money can help build 5 deep water wells around the world.

What is your motivation?
My motivation often times are the images I see of people waiting by a riverbank for dirty, contaminated water. I cannot just sit back and pretend that these thing don't happen to millions of people; because they do. I've been given so much in my own life and have had all that I've needed. It's time to give back.

What did you do before?
Well at the ripe age of 30 I have done many things! I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Philippines. I studied to become a golf professional. I was a flight attendant for five years with US Airways and United Airlines. Currently I'm on furlough from United until 2012 and am working at a hotel near Washington DC as a bellman.

Tell me about the mental process you went through in making this (huge) decision?
The decision process lasted only a moment. I saw a video on Youtube about a man who was walking across America to raise awareness for health. I decided I would do the same for a Charity that was involved with water. The hardest part was finding an organization that met my standards. Charity: water met those standards. I mainly chose them because 100% of the money that they recieve goes to the areas they are working in. This is due in part to the fact that their overhead expences are paid for by their board members.

How do you hope to be changed through it?
Well I hope that these 8 months teach me something about fortitude. There will certainly be days that we won't want to go on or may even feel we've lost outr purpose. Going on... Is sometimes the ultimate test. On a selfish note, I do hope to lose weight on this trip, though that will all come naturally.

What do you think will keep you walking on the days you want to stop?
All I'll have to do is pull out April's edition of The National Geographic, which is deticated completely to water. The images in that edition are beart wrenching and very real.

How can people get involved/help?
People can get involved in our walk by visiting our website which tells more about our walk and has a direct link to Charity: water. People can donate to Charity:water through my walk by visiting the 'donate' section of the site and then clicking on the Charity: water link. We also encourage people to e-mail us or call us during our journey!

( / 703-789-4171).

What is your favorite quote?
I really admire Thomas Jefferson's quotes. I particularly enjoy this one -
"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will dilineate and define you." - Thomas Jefferson

(photos via Charity:Water)