Country artist Jimmy Wayne began 2010 by announcing his plans to walk halfway across the country to raise awareness and funding for teens who "age out" of the foster-home system.
Inspiration for his "Meet Me Halfway" campaign came to him last year. After a big opportunity " an opening slot on Brad Paisley and Dierks Bently's "American Saturday Night" tour " the North Carolina country music singer counted his blessings and looked for a way to return the goodwill.
"In December, when the tour was over, I was thinking about what I accomplished last year, but I was also thinking about what I didn't do," Wayne said. "I didn't take time out last year to give back. That was truly the way I felt. I wanted to make up for it."
Once a homeless youth himself, Wayne decided play a role in preventing teen homelessness.
"If we don't speak up for these at-risk teens, who else is going to?" he said.
Throughout his 1,700-mile trek, he said he has found the happiness in his life that he was lacking for so long.
"The freedom you get when you are out there walking really puts things into perspective," he said. "There's no feeling like it. I am happier now that I've been in 11 years."
Wayne stepped off Jan. 1 from a foster-care group home in Nashville, Tenn. Last week, he walked into the Oklahoma City metro area on his way to Phoenix. On March 11, the musician stopped at Choctaw's Tasty Burger for an "unreal" double-chili cheeseburger purchased by a local supporter.
To support his campaign and to track his progress, visit meetmehalfway.jimmywayne.com. "Alanna Conaway