Lawrence - Longtime Lawrence residents Allen Barker and youth minister Hugh Mason say children in Haiti have to walk up to 1,400 miles a year just to survive. They set out on a path from Lake Worth, Florida to Kansas and they’re making the entire trip on foot. “I just wanted to do something with my life that actually meant something,” says Barker. “I looked into what was going on in this world, and I found out water was a huge crisis.”
Six months ago before the earthquake struck Haiti, Barker, his wife Amanda, and Mason started a foundation called “Lighting the Dark” to benefit the people of Haiti. Barker and Mason traveled to Haiti in November of 2010. They handed out supplies to orphanages and schools. But the group has since changed its focus to helping with earthquake relief efforts.
With the help of his best friend, Barker says they’re going to raise enough money to get 33 water wells drilled in Haiti. “These kids go to pools that have dirty water, and that's what they take back,” says Mason. “When they’re walking back their carrying about five gallons; that's fifty pounds of water."
They’ve been walking for weeks and say they’ve only hit a few snags on the way. They say having sore feet has been one of the biggest problems.
100% of the money will go to the water wells. Each well costs about $15,000 dollars. They survive on the road with donations from hotel rooms, and food given to them by locals. They even have a tent just in case they have to sleep outside. After they finish their walk on Tuesday, they’ll have 38 miles left until reaching Kansas City. Barker says they’ll walk 30 miles on Wednesday and 8 on Thursday.