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.