|UMTV: Poverty Awareness Walk|
Download High-Resolution Video:
Windows Media | QuickTime
An Alabama woman is taking her message to the streets—quite literally. She's walking from one end of the state to the other—along highways and back roads. Why, you ask? As Barry Simmons tells us, it's for a cause that's close to her heart.
(Locator: Selma, Alabama)
Lisa Pierce: “Pretty warm day.”
On a busy stretch of Highway 80 in rural Alabama...
Lisa Pierce, Executive Director, Alabama Rural Ministry: “This is the hardest part of the day, right here.”
…Lisa Pierce and two friends are trying to forget they have 70 miles ahead of them.
Lisa Pierce: “My board of directors said we are crazy.”
Crazy because Lisa is walking 168 miles across Alabama—willingly.
Lisa Pierce: “People just look at us and go, ‘Good luck with that!’”
Lisa runs a United Methodist non-profit called Alabama Rural Ministry, which she started 11 years ago to provide home repairs for those living in poverty. She's hoping this 11-day journey will raise awareness—and money.
Lisa Pierce: “To come out and deal with the hot sun...to see houses up and down the road and to think about... just about what families go through—it's not the same, but it helps you relate in a certain way that poverty's hard—and this walk is hard.”
Lisa says this walk is not about the numbers...but nothing lifts her spirits more than this busload of kids who transform her roadside stroll into a march on Selma.
Lisa Pierce: “This makes my day, right here. This makes it really all worthwhile.”
It's a presence that's hard to miss. And leads them eventually to City Hall—and the Alabama Poverty Project's Kristina Scott.
Kristina Scott, Executive Director, Alabama Poverty Project: “If you want to see change in this world it's up to you to figure out how to get it done. And this walk across Alabama is a great way to start that journey.”
Some, like 23-year-old Jonathan Correia, even follow Lisa the next morning to a nearby home in need of repair.
Jonathan Correia, Volunteer: “It's actually getting up and doing it, you know, not just saying it... putting your feet to the ground and doing what you say you're going to do.”
Lisa is already considering another walk next year... with stops, of course, at a few homes that could use a hand.
Lisa completed her walk in Livingston, Alabama. She raised $12,000, which will be used to repair homes for families in need.
For more information on Alabama Rural Ministry, call 334-501-4276.
Also, see: United Methodists walk across Alabama for poverty
Posted: July 15, 2009