Jimmy Wayne Presents Nashville Youth Home With Check From Meet Me Halfway Campaign
On March 4, Jimmy Wayne returned to the Nashville youth facility, Monroe Harding -- the same place he left on New Year's Day in 2010 to walk halfway across America on his project Meet Me Halfway, his brainchild campaign to raise awareness for teen homelessness.
However, this visit to the youth home did not entail him walking away or logging another 1,700 miles. It was to donate money to the facility which was presented to Meet Me Halfway on behalf of the Tennessee State Treasury Department the week before.
"I went down to the Tennessee State Treasury Department a week ago, and the employees had donated personal money," Wayne tells Taste of Country. "I then took the money over to Monroe Harding and gave it to the staff there so they can distribute it to the youth there who need money."
Besides the check in the amount of $2,100, the Tennessee State Treasury also donated gift cards to Subway and The Home Depot for the youth to use.
"You’d be surprised what a $15 gift card to Subway means to these kids," Wayne notes. "I remember when I was a homeless teen, I ate once a day, and it was something somebody would either give me or I would just ask for it."
"I never forgot that man who owned a convenience store in Belmont, N.C. who actually allowed me to come in and get whatever I wanted to eat without paying for it," Wayne continues softly. "The impact he made on me, I will never forget. That morning I’d woken up in the woods, and I went straight to his store. He gave me some food, I went back to the woods, and I sat down and ate. I’ll never forget that guy. And I'll never forget the elderly lady who gave me the sandwich on Walnut Avenue in Gastonia, N.C. You don’t forget these people."
The donation made from the Tennessee State Treasury Department took Wayne by surprise, as did the way his fans and people he met along his journey embraced the campaign he sacrificed seven months of his life to complete.
"It says so much about our Treasury Department that they did this for these teens," Wayne says. "This money did not come out of our tax dollars. It came out of their pockets directly as a personal donation, and it wasn’t a tax write-off. No one asked for a Tax ID Number or anything like that. They just donated it from their hearts. It means so much. The least I could do is deliver the money to Monroe Harding."
As Wayne was on his way out the door after making the check donation, the staff at Monroe Harding offered the singer a slot on their Advisory Board, which the singer is almost certain he will accept.
"I think I’m going to do it," Wayne revealed. "We’re asking to raise millions of dollars for these facilities, but the chances are, people don’t have that to give. This economy’s tough, but if you have a couple of dollars and you can donate it to Monroe Harding or a facility that helps these youth, then please donate it."
Wayne is currently in the studio wrapping up work on his first full-length album inspired by his Meet Me Halfway walk.