Jimmy Wayne is a great entertainer. You might remember what I wrote about him this past August, after seeing his energetic, fun-filled show in Gray, Tenn. There is no way anyone in that audience went home disappointed. Jimmy invited us to come up on stage and dance with him, he held babies, talked to the audience – a lot – and of course was the autograph signing, picture posing kind of entertainer all the fans enjoy so much.
But there is another side to Jimmy. A very caring side. In the “News” section on Jimmy’s web site, there is a great article up about Jimmy Wayne’s Boots are Made For Walking: Cross Country Trek to Bring Awareness to Plight of Homeless. Jimmy is planning to start on Jan. 1, 2010, at 10 a.m., and walk from Nashville to Phoenix, Arz. to bring attention to the plight of “way too many children and young adults in our own backyards.”
“I realize beginning a mission like this in the dead of winter and walking through the middle of the country is going to be difficult, but I hope and pray I am up to the challenge,” Wayne said. “It’s going to be cold, rainy and maybe even snowing and that ground I sleep on at night is going to be really hard. But that’s what the homeless are dealing with each and every winter they go without a home of their own. Our country is too great for us to have people who are suffering so. And events of the past 12 to 14 months have increased the number of people—especially children and young adults—without a safe place to sleep. We as a nation have got to end homelessness and we’ve got to help these kids.”
I told you that Jimmy talked to his audience a lot when he was in Gray last August, and one of the stories he told was about how Bea and Russell Costner adopted him when he was 16 years old. And literally gave him a second chance at life. They were both old enough to be his grandparents, but they rescued him from a life of foster homes and homelessness, and made him a part of their family.
Here’s what Jimmy said about the Costners in that news release on his web site: "Bea and Russell took a chance on me, and I was certainly no poster child for adoption," Wayne said. "I was this teenager with long hair and tattoos, but they saw past that to the scared kid I was. They met me halfway by offering me a place to live and the opportunity to go back to school. But in turn I had to meet them halfway by helping myself, which meant studying, doing chores and following the rules. They provided me with a way to help myself make a life. They gave me a home, love and respect."
HomeBase Youth Services in Arizona will be the recipient of any donations people care to make.
“It’s been really hard to sit still and watch everything going on in our country since last year’s troubles on Wall Street began,” Wayne said. “While so many of these people received bailouts, and even bonuses, blue collar and Middle America has suffered. From my past, I know first hand what the homeless are experiencing—no roof over your head, no real certainty that there will be any food for the day and just hoping the pair of shoes on your feet lasts another winter. No one in this country should be faced with that kind of situation — especially kids. But unfortunately thousands of people are going though this each and every day.”
I really liked what Jimmy said – “Because I was helped when I needed it, I want to try and help now.” I hope every one of us remembers that, and can find it in ourselves to help others after we have somehow been helped in our lives. Clay Walker said that one best, didn’t he? “Don’t Let the Chain of Love, end with you”.
I know everyone has been busy over the Christmas holiday, but I miss you guys. Send an e-mail my direction when you get a minute! Have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon!