Steve Spear never imagined that he would be running across the country for any reason. But this year he joined up with World Vision to raise money for clean water access in Africa doing that very thing. With more than 6,000 children dying every day because they lack potable water and access to sanitation, it is a very worthy cause. And with the 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York between Steve and his goal, it will be a very tiresome trek.
For most of his life, Steve could not stand running or even the idea of running, especially not a marathon. But after a few marathons in the U.S and a lot of encouragement from Reverend Paul Jansen Van Rensburg, he finally agreed to run the 56-mile marathon in South Africa for World Vision, a Christian global aid group, in 2010. At that time he raised $150,000 and he caught the fundraising bug.
Later that year the idea to run across America came to him while completing a 15-mile run. At first, he was inclined to dismiss the whole thing as crazy. But, after a year of consideration, he finally decided to quit the job he loved and make it all a reality. Steve trained and fund-raised for the upcoming event until April of this year when he was ready to start his journey. Ever since he left California he has been running or walking about 35 miles a day, the equivalent of a marathon, only taking weekends off to speak of different churches and events along the way.
Ultimately his goal is to raise 1.5 million dollars for World Vision, an amount that would provide $30,000 African people with access to clean water. In comparison, during 2012 World Vision provided enough money to help 962,650 people get clean water. So, if he reaches his goal, Spear will be doing 31% of World Vision’s fundraising for them.
This weekend he will be in Chicago, about 2,000 from his starting point, and so far he has raised a little over $130,000 towards his cause. This does not seem to interfere with his hope, though, Spear told the Chicago Tribune, “We still have a whole lot of ground to cover and a bunch of miles to still run,” he said. “We’re hopeful.”