Jimmy Wayne was featured in USA Today this past week for his 1700 mile trek for his Meet Me Halfway Campaign. The Country Music Artists knows what it is like to be homeless and spent his childhood in various foster homes.
“It’s been really hard to sit still and watch everything going on in our country since last year’s troubles on Wall Street began,“Wayne said in a news release for the walk. “While so many of these people received bailouts, and even bonuses, blue collar and Middle America has suffered. From my past, I know firsthand what the homeless are experiencing — no roof over your head, no real certainty that there will be any food for the day and just hoping the pair of shoes on your feet lasts another winter. No one in this country should be faced with that kind of situation — especially kids.”
USA Today was able to catch up with Jimmy Wayne in Oklahoma City and learn more about the Meet Me Halfway Campaign:
USA Today: What inspired you to undertake this incredible challenge?
Wayne: It has been my vow since the beginning of my career to never forget how the family that took me in changed my life. Last year, I was on tour, the coolest stop being the Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C. I had a hit song, and was really living it up. But I didn’t feel right about that fact that, being so busy, there was not much time for charity or giving back. One day, when I was stirring this cup of coffee in this coffee house, the idea just came to me to walk halfway across America on behalf of homeless youth. It’s one the craziest ways I could think of to raise awareness.
USA Today: What has the walk been like so far?
Wayne:It was one of the coldest winters ever — the 11th coldest in history, I believe. Luckily, I’ve received so much good hospitality along the way. One good Samaritan let me sit in their car to charge my cellphone, and one family even provided me a room in their house. It’s such a breath of fresh air to experience how incredibly good people are. You don’t get to experience this when you get so caught up in the music business.
USA Today: How have you spread the message about your campaign along the way?
Wayne: I thought everyone in the country music business would be shocked and excited. And they were. But as they say, today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. So, the talk hasslowly but surely died down. The best way to keep people engagedhas beenthrough the website and they can follow me Twitter. I also USTREAM along the way, which gives you a real sense of what it’s like to live on the streets.
USA Today: Has anyone joined you on the trek?
Wayne: That’s the incredible part. Every week, about two to three people show up to walk with me, and one even joined me in their wheelchair. But I’m not asking people to come out and walk with me, but I am asking them to meet me halfway by getting involved — donate money, adopt a kid, learn more about the foster child or foster parent program in your local community. There’s so much one person can do, and so many ways they can make a difference. It just takes one person to help someone to a better life.
USA Today: I read that Marmot has provided you with gear for the trip. Have any other companies stepped forward to help out?
Wayne: Hiscall, Inc. and its founder and president Gary Luffman have been incredibly supportive of the campaign. They’ve generously provided a driver and RV where the gear is stored. Red Roof Inn has also stepped up to provide shelter for the driver.
USA Today: If someone is interested in supporting your campaign, what do you recommend they do?
USA Today: Log onto the site. All the info you’ll need is provided there. Also, any help in spreading the word about the project would be incredible. I’ve chosen HomeBase Youth Services based in Phoenix as the recipient of any donations people care to make because of the work they do with homeless young adults.
To keep up to date with Jimmy Wayne’s journey, follow @JimmyWayne on twitter or Click HERE and Join Jimmy Wayne’s Campaign on Facebook.
To see the full article from USA Today, Click HERE