Progress Report

I’ve working at my local YMCA’s summer camp this week, and will most of next week too even though I decided not to work there again this summer so as I could put together this walk (they needed people to work until the teachers from our school district finished their school year and could come back), so unfortunately I have not been able to make all the phone calls and arrangements I would like to be making but I want to fill in everyone on where things currently stand as far as planning and what not.

I have a route (thanks to Google map’s bicycle directions) and am in the process of working with Penn DOT to make sure I will be allowed to walk it. At first they told me that I would have to contact and get authorization from each municipality I would be walking through (the amount of forms and paperwork that would require is a bit overwhelming), but after speaking with them about it more I might not (since I wont be walking along state or national highways that much and wont be blocking traffic or requiring police escorts.

The guy from Penn DOT who has been helping me is checking it out for me and I’m just waiting for him to get back to me. Once I get the final word from him I’m going to start contacting the municipalities I’ll be walking through and various community groups in those municipalities to see who would be interested in walking with me, or donating money, or would be willing to house me for the night. While all that is happening I am also going to be contacting every business, company, organization, and individual I can think of to ask for donations. Donations can be made directly to the two organizations I’ll be supporting (the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and Project H.O.M.E.) via their websites under the name of the “Walking to Help the Hunger and Homeless”.

I’m definitely getting anxious with August 1st quickly approaching. There is still a lot of stuff I need to take care of but I’m as motivated as ever ( I just read in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette today that the number of sheltered homeless families in the U.S. rose 7% in 2009) and am really excited about starting the actual walk.

Adam

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About adambrok

My name is Adam Brok. I am a recent graduate of DePauw University, a small liberal arts school in Greencastle, IN, where I was a Philosophy major and Jewish Studies minor. I am also a proud Pittsburgher. I come from a family and environment where helping people in need was just what you did. If you came across a friend, neighbor, or even a complete stranger that was in need of help, you stopped and did what you could to help. It was just as simple as that. As I grew and moved on to college I continued to help where I could. I volunteered as a student friend at a local elementary school where I served as a mentor and tutor to a kindergartner named Jordan and worked with a local church to help run their non-food pantry (where we supplied members of the community on food stamps with essentials like soap, toothpaste, detergent, etc, that cannot be purchased with food stamps). During the summers after my sophomore and junior years respectfully, I volunteered at the University of Pittsburgh Legal Clinic and The Pittsburgh Refugee and Immigration Assistance Center. I also was fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend the spring semester of my junior year in Philadelphia where I was a social work/legal intern in the Juvenile Special Defense Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. It was during this semester in Philadelphia that I became really passionate about the issues of hunger and homelessness. It was impossible to walk around downtown Philly for more than ten minutes without seeing someone laying on the sidewalk or sitting in dirty clothes on a park bench asking for food and money. It was a scene I just couldn't get comfortable with seeing. Here I was a young college student without much money of my own, yet I had an apartment I slept in each night and food to wake up to each morning. Why should I be so fortunate and not the guy that slept on the sewer grate every night down the block from my bare, but warm apartment. That is when I decided that I needed to something, something much more and much greater than what I had done in the past. Being an avid exerciser and enjoying taking on physical challenges, I decided that I would walk from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to raise money and awareness for the hungry and homeless.
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