The End is Just a New Beginning

I apologize for not posting a message sooner but it’s been a pretty hectic couple of days. I finished my walk on Wednesday at the Women of Change shelter right on schedule. I received an incredibly warm welcome from a group of probably 20-30 people, including people from Philabundance and Project H.OM.E., as well as women from the shelter and a few family and friends (a number of the faculty from the Philadelphia Center, who were the ones who helped arranged my internship in Philly were also there, which was really special for me). My cousin Phil, who I stayed with while I was walking through Reading also made the drive down and surprised me. That was a really nice surprise.

Only one news channel showed up – ABC ch 6 – but that was more than enough. The people from Philabundance and Project H.O.M.E. had a cake and other goodies waiting for me when I arrived. It was really cool. Everyone made me feel really special. I particularly enjoyed meeting some of the women from the shelter. They were very grateful and told me how much they appreciated what I did. That was a a very special and very humbling experience. It’s strange for me to think about and actually see that what I did, this little walk I put together, to see that it actually affected other people. I mean that is exactly what I intended, but it’s still kind of a strange thing to know and see that what you do can and does affect other people. That was great for me to see. I could actually see that I had made a positive difference in someone else’s life, and that meant more to me than I can ever explain.

The last day of the walk was pretty surreal. Even though I only had about 14-15 miles to walk I left Conshohocken a bit earlier that morning than usual, just to make sure I would get there in time and to give my self extra time in the event I got lost or something. I planned to meet up with my parents and uncle (who I would be staying with that night) at Lloyd Hall at the end of Boathouse Row. I got there at about noon (I got my first glimpse of the city skyline coming down the Schuykill River Trail – along Kelly Drive – at ~11:30a.m. and admit that I did a little double handed fist pump). My family about 20 minutes later and after a round of hugs and small talk, we had to figure out what to do with ourselves until 2:00, the time I was scheduled to arrive. I really wanted to stop by the Philadelphia Center and visit my old stomping grounds so we head down to Broad Street – 2 blocks down from city hall – and I introduced my family to some of the faculty and staff I had work with while studying/interning in Philly. It was wonderful to see the place I again. I hadn’t been back to Philly since I finished my internship in May of 2009. It was great to see Ruthy and Char and Rosina again. Of course they had gotten new furniture and a new paint job since I had left, but it was still nice being back. I met the rest of the gang Deborah, Ilene, and Dianne when I arrived at the shelter.

It was really just a wonderful way to finish the walk. Although the walk maybe finished I have a lot more I want/need to do with my life I need to take of thanking everyone who helped make this walk possible. I need to pack up my stuff and get ready to move down to St. Louis in the next couple days to start my year of service with Americorps. I really need to catch up on my journal and post more messages and hopefully pictures here on my blog. And I really ought to get start filling out law school and scholarship applications. So there is no time for me to rest now that I’ve finished walking, that was the easy part. Now it’s time to really get some stuff done.

I know I’ve finished the walk but please stay posted. I have more I want to share.

Thanks again for all your support. All the messages and well wishes really meant a lot to me and helped me keep going when my pack began to feel heavier and heavier.

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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