Thursday, July 30, 2009

Special Thanks To The Officers Along The Way

Along the journey we've been stopped by officers who have gotten calls about someone walking down the road with a car following them. Megan came up with an idea around July 12th, every time we got pulled over we would explain what we are doing and ask for their business cards so we could thank them.

Here is a list of the Officers who checked on us to make sure we where okay.

Officers name: Sgt. J Ryan
Station they're with: Port Wentworth Police Department
Time and date they checked: Midnight, 7/12(7/13)

Officers Name: Charles Williams
Station they're with: Jasper County Sheriff's Office
Time and date they checked: 10am, 7/13/09

Officers Name: Cpl. J Dickson
Station they're with: Bluffton Police Department
Time and date they checked: Forgot to write time and date

Officers Name: L/Cpl S A Wooten
Station they're with: S.C. Department of Public Safety
Time and date they checked: 11am, 7/15/09

Officers Name: M Coaxum
Station they're with: Mount Pleasant Police
Time and date they checked: 8:15pm, 7/18/09

Officers Name: Deputy Sheriff Fischer
Station they're with: Charleston County Sheriff's Office
Time and date they checked: 11:35pm, 7/19/09

Officers Name: Deputy Sheriff R Heleman
Station they're with: Charleston County Sheriff's Office
Time and date they checked: 11:35pm, 7/19/09

This man wasn't a officer, but firefighter/paramedic
Name: David Elliott
Station they're with: Horry County Fire Rescue
Time and date they checked: 1:04am, 7/20/09
*He wrote a book on being a paramedic/firefighter

Officers Name: Blake Klauder
Station they're with: Horry County Police Department
Time and date they checked: 12:40am, 7/25/09

Officers Name: PFC F Rash
Station they're with: Horry County Police Department
Time and date they checked: 8:15pm, 7/25/09

Also, to April on Old Reeves Rd, I would like to give a special shout out to you!!! She stopped to see if we were ok and when we told her what we were doing she asked all kinds of questions and helped with some directions in the area we were headed into. (This is when Officer Rash stopped to check on us, while we where talking to her). While stopped, talking to both April and officer Rash, the officer busted a person for speeding down the road. He yelled "45!" and the car pulled over without hesitation. It was so cool to see law enforcement in action.

Officers Name: Sgt T. Coleman
Station they're with: NC Highway Patrol
Time and date they checked: 9pmISH, 7/29/09

This is just after a few days, there will be more to come!

Thank you to everyone who has stopped to make sure were okay. *This is just a short list of the officers/people we have gotten the names of. There have been countless citizens who have stopped to check on us as well, but we never got their names. A special THANKS to all of you as well.

David Ashby

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Positive Story

This story was on the front page of the Orlando Sentanal today and I wanted to let you all know about it. This is more youth making a positive impact on the homeless situation in our country.,0,3236775.story

Please visit this link and learn about what others are going to help the homeless situation in our country.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28th 2009

So its around 7:30pm and I'm getting ready to start walking for the night. I get ready, put my shoes on, get my hat, and find my C.R. wristband. As I open the van door to step outside and continue the journey, The skies open up and Tropical Storm force winds knock me over.

I just wanted to let you all know that these storms that have lighting every 30 seconds or so and winds that push people over is just one thing the average homeless child must deal with. They must find shelter as soon as possible and hope that they don't get kick out of where there at. Because as you know (if you read my Myrtle Beach blog) the criminalization of homelessness is something that these kids have to deal with as well. So if a storm opens up on them and they go somewhere public they could get into trouble.

These are just some things that I've found out during this trip. A homeless child has to deal with these problems that we just think 'I'll just go inside'. But here is the sad fact, They have nowhere to go.

David Ashby

Here its 8:11 pm and lightning just hit maybe 200 ft and the force shook the MCC. Then a Blue and Green and Neon White light flashed for about 20 seconds.

8:12 pm and lightning Again just hit about 500 ft away. This is so cool, but yet so very scary.

You know what I don't know what I would do if I was a homeless child in the woods right now. This is just horrific and I'm in a vehicle. Just imagine being 11 years old and having lighting hit only 300 ft away from your camp area. Your wet, your cold and your scared. This is (like I said earlier) just one problem these children face everyday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 26th 2009

North Carolina is so close...

WAIT!! I'm in North Carolina!!!

Yes, It's true I crossed the North Carolina border today with my Mother, Megan, and Dexter the Rat (the official mascot, He is a mini rat terrier around 9 pounds (he was 8 pounds, but increased protein diet and much walking he has gained a whole pound!!!)

We crossed to North Carolina sometime this morning, and we are all still in high spirits. D.C. seems so close and I'm loving this entire journey. The people I'm meeting, the things that I get to see and the Sunsets I witness are some of the most beautiful I think anyone has ever seen. I also have discovered things that people would just drive by, such as an abandoned house that was overgrown with plant life and the foundation had fallen through, but it shows just how powerful mother nature can be.

Or the rivers and streams that most cars would fly past I have seen up close. Some are the most gorgeous bodies of water ever, and the wild life around these rivers make them so gorgeous.

That just about everything I wanted to inform you guys about. I'm making progress and will be in D.C. in not time. (by car... by walking I would say about 2-3 weeks)

Thank you all for your constant support and kind words. Please be sure to comment about the blog here. I would love to hear what you guys think.

David Ashby

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 24th 2009

I will start walking later on tonight after C.R., C.R. stands for Celebrate Recovery, which is for people who have been addicted to something and came through with the help of their faith.

As we were leaving the shelter to go to C.R. I met a man named Doug who is bicycling from Naples, Florida to Caribou, Maine to prove to himself that he can. Very cool guy, who taught us several skills, such as if you go to a small town Sheriff's Dept. they will point you in the direction of a safe place to sleep for the night.

I was invited by several people to join them at C.R. because they wanted me to speak and tell my story. So I did, and received a Standing Ovation. Shortly after we said our good byes and continued on the road once more.

I would like to give a shout out to the people I met here...

Simon-You were a great guy to meet and talk to, Very talented and strong. You have left a mark on me and also this journey, I hope to see you again after I finish the Walk.

Jason-Loved talking to you about may things from Disturbed to Politics, I can't wait to speak to you once more.

Diane-I enjoyed talking to you about many things from personal life problems to your relationship with your son, I'm glad that I got to meet such an inspirational person during this trip.

Libby and Pete-You two are the funniest people who work together I've ever seen. I thank you for your support for this Cause.

Everyone Else-I really appreciate you guys for bringing me in and sharing your stories with me.

Now For The Random Side Notes...

*When digging in Myrtle Beach's sands be sure to wear gloves or protective gear, because the sand has many shell fragments.

*Myrtle Beach has many beautiful shells and many shark teeth.

*People in Myrtle Beach love to shout profane words or comments at people walking on the side walks.

*The City of Myrtle Beach has outlawed sleeping in your own car, or even standing in a doorway for too long, This is evidence of the Criminalization of Homelessness.

*High tide in Myrtle Beach is treacherous, unless raised in a state that has ocean on 75% of it's State lines.

David Ashby

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 23rd 2009

Today I would like to dedicate to someone who has done much to help with the walk...

My Grandmother,

You have been supportive from the very beginning and always wanted to help in anyway possible. I dedicate July 23rd 2009 to my Grandmother because she is an amazing woman who has not only helped with this Walk, but also in my family's personal life.

For This I Commend You Debbie Shard,

David Ashby

Now to talk about the day... I made it to my destination right on schedule and took a tour of the facilities. Learning that there President of the Board of Directors was a man who went through the Disciples Program (this is a program that after you qualify you get to stay for 6 months to save up your money, but must attend classes and Bible study).

After a short speech about what I am doing and a few questions (some were how long it has taken me so far to what about on a state level when the state gets the funding, but doesn't put the money where it belongs) I went to the Prayer area to see how religion helps people. Its seems like people turn to there religion to help them through tough times. Disciple David stated "I went through some tough times with being addicted to Heroin, but I found God and he saved me" It really shows how people can change there ways. In 6 months Disciple David quit all drugs and alcohol and was all about making sure that he pleased his Lord.

During Prayer time they started to sing different songs, and just sitting in the back and listening to these people sing there sorrows away was just amazing. During Amazing Grace they all started to stand up and they were just so thankful for what they had. Afterwards Disciple David and myself sat down and talked about his old life which wasn't so pretty, but he really had made a transformation.

And that's just one Disciple that had made a huge difference within themselves, Every single one of them had.

You would never think that people need socks so much, but the past four centers i've visted where in desperate need of...

Adult Socks

So if you have a few dollars or pairs please go to your nearest shelter and donate them. People run through socks like you wouldn't believe.

Well, I will be back on the road again shortly.

Thank you all for supporting me and this Cause.

David Ashby

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 20th 2009

July 20th 2009 is...

Michael Daugherty Day!!!

Mr. D, You have given me the advise and help needed to make this walk possible. You created my website which has given HelpingStepByStep a convenient way to be contacted with and let people understand what we are doing. Without your help this walk would not be where its at. Thank you for a fun and challenging year at Lee middle, and I'm honored to have been in your class room.

Thank you Mr. D for all that you have done for me, and for this Walk.

Still walking to my next destination, but boy was today fun... NOT!!! While walking at night I never expected to run into swarms of mosquitoes. Thank you lord, for bug spray. No joke these monstrous creatures were three times the size of an average Florida mosquito. I should be at my destination in a few days and ill be telling you guys as much as possible when I do finally get there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 17th 2009

June 17th is officially...

Doris Keeler Day!

Mrs. Keeler you have not only been there for me throughout this Walk, but also during my time in your class. Even though I may have gotten lazy at times you've helped me better myself. For that I am truly thankful and honored to say that you were my teacher.

Sorry about the absents of my posts. These last few days have been very exhausting. I entered my first destination in South Carolina which was Charleston. I stopped at the shelter here and was able to tour the facilities, but wasn't able to stay due to the renovations they were doing to the Families Facility.

I am starting to really feel the pain that a homeless child would go through to get to a safe place to sleep. After getting to Savannah, Georgia and not being able to stay and then having to walk 100+ miles to the next shelter in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a long and hard journey between those two cities.

Here is the list of things the Shelter in Charleston, South Carolina needs...

Urgently Needed Items:

1) Sunscreen and Bug Spray
2) Powdered Sport Drink Mix
3) Coffee
4) Razors
5) Shower Shoes (men and women sizes)
6) Cleaning Supplies
7) Lysol
8) Liquid Dish Soap and Laundry Detergent
9) Deodorant
10) Paper Towels and Napkins
11) Packaged Men's and Women's Underwear
12) White Wash Clothes and Towels
13) Feminine Products
14) Band-aids
15) Hand Sanitizer
16) Aluminum Foil, Plastic Wrap

Supplies That We Always Need:

1) Paper Products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, facial tissues)
2) Plastic Plates, Forks, Knives and Spoons
3) Deodorant and Lotion
4) Disposable Razors and Shaving Cream
5) Aluminum Foil
6) Adult Diapers
7) Feminine Hygiene Products
8) Cleaning Supplies and Liquid Laundry Detergent
9) Packaged Standard Size Pillows
10) New, Packaged Socks and Underwear for Women, Children and Men-all sizes
11) Band-aids, Neosporin, Caladryl, ACE Bandages

These are the supplies are needed at the Crisis Ministries; this shelter helps men, women and children who are in need. They also house up to 80 men and currently house up to 40 women and children any night. When the renovations are complete they will shelter many more women and children. They also feed many more people that don’t have any shelter at all. Out of the 3000 homeless in the area near the shelter they provide 1700 of them with services and help.

*If you would like to Donate to this shelter send here*
573 meeting street Charleston, SC 29403
P.O. Box 20038

In-Kind donations are always needed. For large contributions, Please call 843-723-9477 ext. 124 to ensure storage space is available and arrange a time for delivery.

We have left Charleston and are still moving north towards Washington D.C. and should be there around the August 20th mark. I can't wait to get to the next shelter to meet these children. Ill give you all an update on which children make the biggest impact on me as soon as possible.

Thank you all for being supportive and helpful through this journey, you may not know it but you too have made a difference to help the homeless youth in the United States.

I would like to end this Post with a poem that 15 year old Tim Hogg wrote for me...

You are the captain of your

Master of your

While you walk your

Others will remain the

David Ashby

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 13th 2009

July 13th,

Still on the road and still between stops so there is not much to update everyone on. We are still walking by night and the wildlife seems to come out of hiding. I was walking and around 2:00am and 17 miles there was a quick rustling sound and I stopped (the MCC stopped as well) dead in my tracks. We looked around, using the headlights as our source of light, and didn't see anything. Great, because a wild animal is used to lack of light and when you can't see them they could do some damage. We pressed forward anyways, and after about another mile we saw a figure that a looked a bear sitting on the side of the road near a few trees. We stopped again and turned the brights on. The figure rose and turned and ran. We noticed it was a deer just before it jumped almost 15ft over a bunch of bushes. My pace quickly sped up because we wanted to find more deer. Not long after we saw another deer just as it was walking away from the road and into the woods.

That would be the most exciting thing about today, everything else would be just walking. Ill be posting another day shortly.

David Ashby

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 12th 2009

We were supposed to stop at a shelter in Savannah, Georgia tonight, but something fell through and we were unable to stay there so we continued on our journey. Unfortunately, when the shelters are at capacity, if your not already checked in, then you are left out. Being left out means no bed, no shower, and no food for that night. You would never realize how much a shower means until you've gone about a week with out one.

At about midnight, around a half mile to crossing the boarder, Sgt. J. Ryan of the Port Wentworth Police Department pulled up behind us to make sure everything was okay. He stated that he got a report that a man with a towel on his head looked to be in serious pain. I quickly explained to the officer that it was me and the reason the towel was on my face was because I could no longer stand the stench of the paper plant nearby which smelled like sulfur, rotten eggs and dead animal. He replied with a "Welcome to northern Georgia." We talked for about an hour while I rested my feet, discussed everything from my mission to all the mesmerizing lights on his cruiser. I questioned if the lights were standard, and he replied "No, I added them bit by bit over the years" and when the boss man noticed the additions he simply replied "I don't know they just showed up."

When break time was over he escorted us to the state line with every light on his car shining and wished us the best of luck. Thanks Sgt. J. Ryan!!!

As we crossed the state line (Dexter the Mini Rat crossed the line with me) Megan and I stood in both states and enjoyed a celebratory Yoo-Hoo, which then made me feel sick. We pushed on anyways.

Other then that we just walked and walked and walked and wait... yeah, walked some more. That was just about all that happened this day.

David Ashby

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day Fifteen

Waking up at 5:30am and walking by 6:00am is a great way to start your day. After about 6 miles I back-tracked to Brunswick to spend time with some friends I made at a shelter there, and participated in a community basketball tournament. While there they had a brief ceremony during which I was presented with A Key to the City of Brunswick.

Shortly after I said my farewells to everyone there and headed north towards my next destination.

I made it to Savanna right on time and now washing some clothes to get to the next shelter in South Carolina

Friday, July 10, 2009

Important Information: Must Read!!!

Hello everyone. Today I have to address something serious with you. There are many people & organizations out there that are doing a lot to help me out and support my cause, but there are also some people out there who I simply like to call haters. These are the people who have said from the start that I could do it, that I’d never make it and have even said they would throw boulders at me if they saw me walking down the road. HATERS. I have ignored these comments because I don’t care to get into arguments with anyone, but lately there have been many post and comments made referring to my mother and her intentions and my father.

I am the one who came up with this idea, I am the one who is pushing my self, setting my own pace and I am doing it because it is what I feel motivated to do. This is a publicity stunt, to raise awareness for the 1.5 million homeless children in the U.S., not some lame stunt thought up by my mother to gain publicity for herself, get real people. Yes, she is with my sister right now, my sister is recovering from her accident and needs my mother more then I do right now. At no point in this journey and I alone, I have an approved and authorized guardian with me at all times.

My mother, myself and other guardians had been meeting with dietitians, personal trainers, and nutritionists for months before I started this walk making sure we knew what my body was going to need to not only survive, but stay healthy. I am not eating out of trash cans! I am getting food from the shelters I stay at and I have plenty of supplies loaded up in moms van (the mobile command center). I have all the water and Gatorade I can stomach and have a better diet then most people in general. I have a complete medical supply kit in my MCC complete with a blood pressure cuff & thermometer to monitor my health as well as any and all medications I may need, 20 different types of Band-Aids, another 20 weird creams, ointments and lotions, gauze, tape, liquid Band-Aid, alcohol wipes, baby wipes to stay fresh, everything I may need. I also have several checkpoints along the way where I will have complete check-ups done to make sure we still have the right balance of things. To those people who are truly concerned, thank you, but I am well taken care of. Those of you just looking for something to pick on, find something positive to do.

Now as far as the comments about my father…The court system in Orange County Florida has deemed him an unfit parent and the court removed his rights and responsibilities. He is only allowed supervised visitation. Many of his friends and I hate to say some of my relatives are behind these attack and I am ashamed of them. If anything they should be the ones building me up, helping me stay motivated, showing their love and support, not taking this as an opportunity to attack me and my mother.

I hope this helps clear up a lot of confusion for everyone and I’m sorry that I have to release a statement like this, it really does take a lot away from the good I’m trying to do. Please continue to share your positive thoughts and comments at anytime, to those of you pessimist, you can just keep your negativity to yourselves.

David Ashby

Technical Problems

Today is Day 14, but I wanted to give all of you a update. I crossed the Florida-Georgia border on July 6th at 10:28pm were I then stopped for the night.

I will complete the past posts and publish them as soon as possible.

David Ashby

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day Seven

All right, I woke up at around 12:3oam today. It was nice and cool and that's why I wanted to walk then. I had just rained so it was a bit humid, but it was around 70 degrees so it was nice. We walked for about two hours when we heard a splash in the creek on the side of the road. Megan and I looked at each other and sped up our speed of walking. Then something ran into the middle of the road (we think it was a deer because it had reflective eyes). We continued on and the thing in the water continued to follow us. After the thing followed us for a few minutes it stopped and we continued walking unharmed, but very paranoid.

The next few blog posts will be a bit undetailed, due to the fact that we had some technical problems.

Thank you for your support,

David Ashby

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day Six

Well sense the City of Orlando dedicated June 15th as David Ashby day I wanted to give the people who have helped in great ways there own day because this walk wouldn't have done so well without them. So today, July 2nd is going to be...

July 2nd is Alison Ashby day because she has been there to help get the word out and doing the technical work in this Walk.

My Motivation for today: Raven is my motivation today because she has left a mark on me and seems to have dreams which is what this is all about, letting them have there hope and dreams.

I will add more to this blog later today, it's getting hot and I have to continue walking.

Okay so after the heat I continued to walk until around sevenish. The heat was just unbearable, and the heat index was up around 110 degrees. I, then slept until 12:30am July 7th.

David Ashby

Day Five

Okay well today I had to do 28 miles before 6:30pm and that is a bit difficult. So I woke up at 5:00am which gave me around 6 hours to sleep then I was on the road again. Walking up to St. Augustine in about 12 and 1/2 hours and setting a personal record. I walked the farthest yet in the least amount of time and hit a record speed of 4mph and kept up that speed for an hours straight.

St. Augustine is a gorgeous city and a great place to be. When I got to the Coalition here, people were waiting and cheering for me. I spent some time with the people here and one child named Raven talked with me for close to an hour. Now I've got to walk to Jacksonville in the next two days. Thats 33 miles, but I wanted to brack it up into two days because 33 miles would do some damage. I'll blog later tomarrow.

David Ashby

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day Four

I apologize to everyone for not posting last night. I was walking for several hours. I started at the Star Center in Daytona at about 9:30am. The main reason I didn't blog yesterday was that I walked until 11:15pm and was to exhausted to even stay awake. So I am very sorry but, today at 10:12am I hit 100 miles.

I will have more information on the next blog because today was only half of my goal.

David Ashby