HIGH POINT, NC -- From Atlanta to Washington, DC, Terence Lester is trying to leave his footprint behind. He's walking 684 miles to raise awareness for poverty.
"I walk every day and sometimes I’m in pain, I’m tired, I’m fatigued. It’s taxing to the body. It’s physically draining. It creates a lot of weariness," he said. "But, you know, a lot of people wake up each and every day and they’re weary and they’re fatigued from all of their hardships or they’re in pain themselves."
No matter the weather or the terrain, Lester walks through it. He says it's symbolic of the pain poverty can cause.
He's walked for 33 days and hopes he only has 27 to go. He covers 13 to 15 miles each day and takes an average of 25,000 steps burning 3,500 calories. He's gone through seven pairs of shoes and uses a walking stick to keep weight off of his right ankle.
"My ankle bothers me every day," Lester said.
He says he has to wrap it and take pain medication just to keep going. His supplies are kept on a bus that drives in front of him. Lester says he also uses the bus as motivation.
"It'll get two or three miles ahead of me and then I'll know it's time to get going," he said.
Johnny Taylor is the bus driver. He's also making a documentary about Lester's trek.
Along the way the two have stopped in towns and had conversations with the people they're trying to help. Lester said people will stop and ask him if he needs a ride.
"Once I tell them what I'm doing they say, 'Oh, you're walking for me,'" he said.
To pass the time Lester said he talks to his wife on the phone or listens to music. For motivation, he thinks about the people he is helping.
"I’m thinking about a lot of their struggles and why I’m doing this," he said. "Many millions of people are actually facing poverty in this country and I have many relationships because of our organization with a lot of those individuals."
Lester is the executive director of Love Beyond Walls, an organization in Atlanta that helps people living in poverty, the homeless, single mothers and any individual that needs help.
That's how the walk began, he said. An elderly woman walked seven miles to Love Beyond Walls because she needed food.
To track Lester's journey visit the organization's website: http://lovebeyondwalls.org
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