Helping Hands for Freedom is almost ready to embark on The Route for the Brave. The Route for the Brave – Walk Across America will start April 28, 2016 in Atlantic City and arrive in San Francisco August 26, 2016. Along the way, Helping Hands for Freedom’s Chairman of the Board, David Roth and his friend and school teacher Kevin Winton will engage with communities all across America, participate in speaking engagements and welcome special guests as they raise awareness and funds for our military and in particular, bring awareness to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can help the cause, too, by donating today!
“Each day, we get a phone call from a person wanting to donate or do an event for us,” David Roth says. “Obviously for me, success will be completing the trip, but it won’t stop there. I want to build the house that gives military families an opportunity to connect. When we get that first family and give them a place of retreat - that will be amazing. That’s everything right there.” The house and PTSD center will be called “House of Healing” and used as a place of peace where military members returning from deployment can take the time they need to reintegrate back into their home life. Likewise, their families will also be able to stay in the home and partake in special counseling sessions as needed.
Kevin Winton has many friends who are retired military and he saw a unique chance in trekking across America for such a noble cause. “I turned 50 and I’m looking at that one thing I could do in my life that would make a mark way beyond, and we’re here,” says Winton, an 8th grade math and algebra teacher who will be taking some time away from his work to complete his meaningful journey on The Route for the Brave.
In preparation for the long trek, Winton has been getting ready physically and mentally. “Physically, I was told that I was borderline diabetic about three or four years ago,” states Winton. He took up a regimen of walking and gradually lost 50 pounds. “I walked about 1,000 miles or more last summer,” he adds. “Roth then approached me with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s just amazing that this will have a large impact on a lot of people I probably won’t even meet.” Among one of the many things that Roth and Winton will get to do along the way is throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Wilmington Blue Rocks at an upcoming game.
With a renewed physical strength and now 50 pounds lighter, Winton is also hoping to get the attention of AARP. “I am now an AARP member,” Winton explains. “I’m looking at some feedback from them as someone who is not retired but is a member and is walking across the country.” Both Roth and Winton are looking forward to connecting with military personnel and the general public as they raise awareness during The Route for the Brave.
Sponsor The Route for the Brave today! There are opportunities for corporate, state and mileage sponsors and the need for new, quality shoes will be ongoing. For additional information on the full route and schedule of The Route for the Brave, visit www.routeforthebrave.org. You can also create fundraising teams and do your very own online fundraiser to support The Route for the Brave. Follow this link for fundraising teams:https://www.classy.org/events/save-22/e71462.
You can also follow along with the daily progress of Roth and Winton, plus see a lot of great photos and read inspiring stories at https://www.facebook.com/Routeforthebrave/.
Helping Hands for Freedom has a primary mission of supporting the surviving spouse and children of a veteran who doesn’t return from the conflict. It can take months for a family to receive the death benefit and often this also results in relocation from base housing. HHFF steps in to help with basic expenses during their time of transition. We assist those severely wounded who need equipment or housing modifications as they adjust to new life circumstances. We also help the children with life enrichment programs, mentorship and counseling. For additional information about Helping Hands for Freedom, visit www.helpinghandsforfreedom.org.