What a beautiful sunrise at Dawes Arboretum this morning. I made my usual cup of coffee and started to pack up. I said goodbye to Luke and thanked him again for hosting me last night at Dawes and then I headed for Heath.
I walked for about 2 hours mostly on the bike path before I was greeted by some Heath High School Seniors on the bike path just before I reached the school. The group walked with me the rest of the way to the High School.
At Heath High School I was escorted to the gymnasium where I then gave presentation to a few groups of students about the United Way Blueprint and the 50 day walk.
After my presentation at Heath High School I was joined by Eddy from the City of Heath Administration Office. We walked from the High School and then stopped to talk with Tammy who managed the Heathwood Village Apartments. We talked a great deal about housing and some of the struggles that some of her renters have just to maintain their apartments. The average cost for a 2 bedroom apartment in Licking County is $750.00. This is a very high price for many underpaid residents of Licking County. One of our priorities is to help provide access to safe and affordable housing. We have a long way to go.
After there we headed north to Panera where we had lunch and was approached by a few different people who had recognized me through the media.
Then it was on to walk by and say hi too many local business owners in the area. This area of Heath is a focal point of shopping for residents all over Licking County. Finally it was on to TrueCore Federal Credit Union where I was welcomed by several staff. TrueCore is a wonderful supporter of United Way. Thank you TrueCore for all you do for our community.
Before setting my tent up, I said goodbye to Eddy and thanked him for walking with me.
At 3:30 p.m. the United Way Planning Division joined me at TrueCore for a meeting. This Division is headed by John Fisher, the Executive Director for Job and Family Services of Licking County. John has been involved with United Way for decades. I greatly admire and respect the wonderful job that John and all of his staff do in helping to care for many residents of Licking County. Thanks Job and Family Services!
After the meeting I had the opportunity to take a picture with some staff members from Licking County Developmental Disabilities.
Now its time for bed. This is the last night that I will be spending outside during this 50 day walk covering all of Licking County. I’m not able to put into words yet all that this trip has meant to me personally, but I do feel really good about the many opportunities that I have had to share United Way’s mission and priorities, with many people, that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to meet. I have seen and learned so much about Licking County through this unique perspective. I am excited to reach the end of this 50 day journey and yet I find that I will miss the rhythm of these past 7 weeks.