Kevin McCann, who attends the Ashton Church of the Nazarene, in Ashton-Under-Lyne, U.K., is raising 10,000 pounds (17,000 USD) for two Nazarene charities and a non-denominational nonprofit by walking 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) across the U.K. this summer.
First, he is raising funds for fresh water wells in Africa and India, a Nazarene Missions International 100th anniversary project in which the British Isles South District has adopted a Nazarene Compassionate Ministries project to sink wells in remote villages where children must walk several hours each day to bring fresh, clean water to their families, depriving them of time spent in education and other activities.
Second, he is also raising funds for a ministry called New Hope Ashton, in which his local church ministers to people with substance addictions, helping them become and stay sober.
Additionally, anyone who donates through his blog sponsors fresh water wells through Tearfund, a non-Nazarene charity.
McCann is 47 days into his 80-day fundraising trip.
About nine months ago, he began planning the walk from the northernmost tip of Scotland, called John o’Groats, to the southernmost point of England, called Lands’ End, by training every week and by contacting churches along his route to request free accommodation so that any donations he received for the charities would not be diverted to his personal expenses.
He was overwhelmed by the positive response, receiving free overnight stays for 78 of his 80 nights on the trail, many nights provided by churches in both the British Isles North District (BIND) and the British Isles South District (BISD) some of whom are even hosting fundraising events for the charities, said BISD superintendent David Montgomery. Many nights are also being covered by members of other denominations and even people who are not believers. All his meals are being provided, as well.
McCann began fundraising before he ever hit the trail. His local church raised a further 350 pounds (600 USD). McCann also received permission to set up a display advertising his walk outside a grocery store in his community, and passersby gave him about 600 pounds (1,000 USD) a day for several days. And a local businessman promised to sponsor his walk at one pound per mile.
The journey has so far earned a total 7,500 pounds, so he is well on his way to his overall minimum goal.
As he walks along the roads, highways and trails wearing his “please sponsor me” T-shirt, passersby stop to ask what he’s doing and then hand him cash for his projects. He also shares his faith with anyone who asks why he’s doing this.
“I’ve stayed in some people’s homes who aren’t Christians but we’ve had talks in the evening about my Christian faith. My father was a vicious alcoholic, aggressive, he beat us regularly. It was from that I became a Christian. I’m able to share that with people. So I’ve had many opportunities to witness about my background and where I’ve come from and where I am now.”
“BISD are very proud of Kevin McCann as he walks from John O’Groats to Land’s End,” said Montgomery. “Two worthy causes, New Hope Ashton and fresh water wells NCM, part of the Nazarene Missions International 100th anniversary project, are receiving much needed publicity and funding through his endeavours, and many Nazarene churches are also supporting the projects as Kevin arrives at their location.”
Those who would like to join in supporting McCann’s project can give in one of three ways:
A donation through the British Isles South District, marked “end to end” will go to drill water wells through the denomination’s Nazarene Compassionate Ministries organization (NCM). If funds are given through his blog, http://www.endtoendonashoestring.blogspot.ch, they will go to fresh water wells drilled through Tearfund, which is not associated with the Nazarene denomination.
Finally, funds given to him personally, such as cash given by passersby, will support New Hope Ashton.