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 questions...so 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.
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.
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?