As the title of my blog suggests, I like to walk and I like to walk with dogs. Mindy and I get our 10,000 steps in each day (20,000 for her) walking around our neighborhood. I’ve lived and walked in this neighborhood for 28 years and enjoy meeting other walkers and their dogs each day. As the years have passed we’ve mourned the loss of our faithful canine companions, rejoiced with the excited energy of new puppies and welcomed amazing rescues to their forever homes.
About 3 weeks ago, Mike, my husband, asked if I would be willing to walk 50 miles as a fundraiser for Youth for Christ, the organization he works for.
Now I’ve walked 26.2 miles twice (not at the same time ;-)) but I’ve never walked 50 miles so my answer was, “I don’t think so.” Then I asked, “Would I have to walk these miles all at the same time?” He said, “no”. So I suggested that I would be willing to walk one mile each day for 50 days. I had been searching for something to mark the approach of my 50th birthday and this felt perfect because it is also a way to give back to an organization that helps so many kids. Here’s what I wrote on my fundraising page:
“Hi, I’m Grace Edwards and I’m walking 50 miles to raise money to support the ministries of Youth for Christ, Sacramento. I will be walking one mile each day for the 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday. As I approach my personal 50 mile-marker, I’m reminded of all I have to be thankful for and want to be able to finish this 50-mile challenge by giving back to an organization that pours out love and hope every day to kids. My goal is to raise $50 per mile.
I’ve been personally involved with YFC for over 25 years and wholeheartedly support their mission. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other likeminded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement. YFC works in partnership with local churches, law enforcement agencies, city governments and school districts to provide safe environments for kids to have fun, and encourages them to grow through discipline and service.”
Mindy and I will walk a mile each and every day for 50 days and along the way we’ll share stories from the staff and kids of YFC. I would be very grateful if you would consider supporting us through a tax deductible donation to YFC. This link will take you directly to my fundraising page.
Mindy and I completed our first mile this morning and we were joined by Charlie and Sugar Bear (not in the picture) .
They loved sniffing everything, meeting other walkers along the way and best of all, settling in for some very satisfying naps when we got home.
While YFC works with kids in many locations, the one I want to tell you about today is the Collings Teen Center in West Sacramento. Here is a story highlighting the need:
Jenny stood at the food counter of the Collings Teen Center, waiting in line with other students for their free Late Lunch meal. Her engaging smile and confident maturity made Jenny a favorite of the teen center staff. But day after day, she politely asked that her meals be wrapped to go.
In time, Jenny shared that she was actually taking the food to her four siblings. All five children were living with their mother in a motel room on West Capitol Avenue, a nearby corridor long known for its cheap motels, drug trafficking, and prostitution. The family has been forced to move several times, and Jenny is largely responsible for caring for the other children.
Stories like this are played out every day all over West Sacramento as young people are battling for a solid foothold – both in their current circumstances, and in their unfolding futures.
It breaks my heart to think that kids have to deal with circumstances such as these, but I’m so grateful that YFC provides a safe place to help alleviate some of their stress.
“Can I just say this is the best idea EVER.”