Up North: On the Trail
Bloomin' Friday

A Special Guest with a Special Mission

A few weeks ago, an old friend put out an announcement on Facebook:  a young man from New Jersey was setting off on a 3200-mile trek across the country to raise money and awareness for . . . water.  His journey was going to take him right across Michigan -- and he was looking for places to stop and shelter along the way.  Including . . . Kalamazoo.

No brainer, right?

Mission close to my heart.

Young man my own son's age.

Empty guest room.

Sign me up to support him!

James arrived last night.  Tired and hot from a long day's journey -- but bubbling with enthusiasm and energy.


It was a delight to spend a few hours with James -- learning about his mission and background.  He's an amazing young man!  He has chosen to backpack across the country carrying 10 gallons of water (that's 90 pounds!) in support of (mostly) women and children around the world who must walk far distances each day for their water.  James planned his route to include areas in the US with water insecurity issues -- and he spent several days in Flint, Michigan last week, learning about the Flint water crisis and volunteering with various organizations there.

James hopes to raise $75,000 during his trek.  All funds he raises will go to repairing broken wells in the Mara region of Tanzania (where James has done work in the past), as well as providing training for well maintenance.

Find out more about James and his journey here.  You can also follow his progress on Twitter or Facebook.  And, if you can, please consider a donation in support of his mission.  

It was truly a delight to connect with James.  He gives me HOPE for the future (something we can all use there days), and I am so pleased we got the chance to meet him.

And now . . . he's off!  Watch for him out on the roads this summer as he heads west . . . for water.




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Good on both of you!


Wow, wow, wow. The best! (DRD would freak at the thought of a stranger! I'd do it in a minute!) Thank-you James and thank you Kym for bringing this to us!


This is fascinating! Go James!


Another wow! Yesterday was full of news about Flint officials being charged with involuntary manslaughter. While I guess it's good that they be held somewhat accountable, it's not going to bring back those that died of Legionnaire's disease nor fix the children who are going to suffer lifelong effects of lead poisoning. But you and James are working to fix things and that also gives me hope. Thank you!


Fabulous!!! Go James!!!


This is an amazing story. James is an inspiration for all of us. I love the idea that he is not trying to solve all the world's problems, but has chosen a very important challenge both for learning and for acting!


James is an amazing young man and one who has my total admiration. You have done a wonderful thing in giving him a place of shelter, an ear to hear of his mission, and to spread the news of his good works. You are cut of the same cloth and have hearts filled with good.


Wow! What a treat to learn about this amazing young man .... it does give me hope, too! Thank you for sharing his story (and those links).


That's an amazing thing for a young man to be doing and I'm so glad you were able to support and encourage him along this journey! Thanks for sharing his story with us, I'm going to read more about it.

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