Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Walk-A-Mile Continues Despite Snow

By Sydney Leyerle Feb 17, 2024

By: Sydney Leyerle and Kenzie Ogden

The Grant County Rescue Mission’s annual Walk-A-Mile continued this year despite the snow and poor road conditions.

Each year, the GCRM hosts its annual Walk-A-Mile in which participants walk a mile to represent what those without proper housing or transportation face during the winter. 

Participants typically walk around downtown Marion, but due to roads still being cleared of snow, walkers were offered an alternate route through the YMCA or around the parking lot.

Jeremy Moore, spiritual coordinator for the GCRM, said that walking in the cold weather can give community members insight on the conditions that unhoused individuals are faced with during the winter season. 

“Snow is ok…it does make it important for people to understand when you’re homeless, it’s not just you’re always living on the streets. Sometimes you don’t have a permanent place to stay,” Moore said. “You’re going from house to house or you have to walk a mile and a half to a job or two miles to get resources from the community and these are the conditions you have to walk in.” 

Event coordinators, such as Moore, said the event was an opportunity for the community to get connected with the ministry.

One connection point was made through a display of backpacks for participants to take along on the walk. Each backpack contained a tag briefly explaining the story of an individual who has been impacted by the GCRM. 

Among the individuals who have been impacted by the ministry’s life change program is Ronald Collins III. 

“I just started the program. I just got released from jail a couple weeks ago. I was going through a bad situation in my life…and I finally asked for help and they put me in a life change program,” Collins said. “I’ve turned my whole life around now and everything’s going well for me.” 

Collins said he has been reunited with his children since participating in the life change program. He also said he plans to continue to be involved with the ministry after graduating from the program. 

Events such as Walk-a-Mile help raise money and support for the GCRM and the individuals who are impacted by the mission. 

“We’re really trying to invite people to have conversations with people, get to know people, and what their struggles are to really understand that each and every person, man or woman, has their own challenges in life,” Moore said. 

Joshua Gillespie, who is also part of the program at GCRM, said humans are meant to interact and have conversations with one another. He said this event and the interactions he has with others at the GCRM helps him to find himself and his purpose.

“We’re meant for each other,” Gillespie said. “We’re meant to communicate and we’re meant to be around each other. We’re meant to interact.”

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