Walk Across America

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

One West Virginia man has made it his mission to “Walk Across America” to connect Church of the Brethren.

These shoes are made for walking and to date have walked 15,560 miles. Don Vermilyea has dedicated the past three and a half years to spreading a peaceful and simple message of togetherness. Don says in terms of human nature, America is asleep.

Don Vermilyea who is walking across the United States says, “Someone needs to walk across America and say hey you need to wake-up. You can't do that in a Lexas, with 3 piece suit, and it has to come the way it's coming as a homeless person."

Not only does don carry about 60 to 90 pounds on his back, but he's also weighted down with many pleasant and not so pleasant stories.

Don says, "How does one get in shape unless one puts that on and goes walking everyday. But I didn't anticipate the loneliness and the abuse of humanity."

But with every person who turns their head hundreds more open their arms and embrace don and his mission.

Don states, “You'd be surprised by the people who reach out. I’ve been reached out by people who have nothing."

And for the most part Don has nothing, the Church of Brethren is paying Don eleven cents an hour .but most days Don doesn't even spend a dime. Any money that Don picks up on the road or unsolicited money from motorists will be given to feed the homeless.

Don says he still has 800 Churches of Brethren to go. If you would like to follow his mission log onto www.brethren.org. Once you’re on the site scroll and find “Walk Across America.” You can trace Don’s walk.


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