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Eastern Michigan University grad running 3,200 miles to help poor children


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2014-06-30 23:09:08

Zachary James of Southfield stands with the modified stroller that he will be running with. Photo by Aftab Borka.

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SOUTHFIELD — Two years ago, it all started as a ‘spiritual’ experience for Southfield resident Zachary James.

Today, James is about to take on a challenge only 300 people have taken so far: 3,200 miles on foot from New York to San Francisco to help poor children in the world.

“If I can be honest. It just came to me. I was just sitting in a parking lot about to go to grocery shopping and got the idea,” the 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University undergrad said.

Called the Compassion Run, James’s campaign aims to raise $15,000 for Compassion International Inc. - a Christian organization that supports underprivileged

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children globally.

James began his run from New York July 1 and is planning to reach San Francisco on November 1. He will be carrying a modified stroller to carry his supplies, including a 5-gallon jug of water. He says he will sleep wherever he can find a couch or pitch a small tent. His mom, who he lives with, will supply him with shoes.

“She’s worried but she’s proud of me,” he said when asked about her feelings.

There are two ways people can donate to his campaign. One of them is to donate on his website - www.compassionrun.org. The other way is to help the organization on Compassion International’s website. So far, he has had 19 sponsors donating equipment, ranging from his gear to extra parts for his modified stroller.

James has previously helped this cause by sponsoring a 10-year-old boy in Indonesia through the same organization he is running for. And this experience, he said, has taught him a lot about poverty in the world.

After finishing the run, James is planning to join Peace Corps on a 27-month assignment visiting a particular country to help people in need. And he is doing all of this because of a larger goal he wants to achieve.

“I want everybody to be aware of what’s actually the state of affairs in the world,” he said. “If everybody chips in a little bit we can actually make a difference.”

SOUTHFIELD — Two years ago, it all started as a ‘spiritual’ experience for Southfield resident Zachary James.

Today, James is about to take on a challenge only 300 people have taken so far: 3,200 miles on foot from New York to San Francisco to help poor children in the world.

“If I can be honest. It just came to me. I was just sitting in a parking lot about to go to grocery shopping and got the idea,” the 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University undergrad said.

Called the Compassion Run, James’s campaign aims to raise $15,000 for Compassion International Inc. - a Christian organization that supports underprivileged children globally.

James began his run from New York July 1 and is planning to reach San Francisco on November 1. He will be carrying a modified stroller to carry his supplies, including a 5-gallon jug of water. He says he will sleep wherever he can find a couch or pitch a small tent. His mom, who he lives with, will supply him with shoes.

“She’s worried but she’s proud of me,” he said when asked about her feelings.

There are two ways people can donate to his campaign. One of them is to donate on his website - www.compassionrun.org. The other way is to help the organization on Compassion International’s website. So far, he has had 19 sponsors donating equipment, ranging from his gear to extra parts for his modified stroller.

James has previously helped this cause by sponsoring a 10-year-old boy in Indonesia through the same organization he is running for. And this experience, he said, has taught him a lot about poverty in the world.

After finishing the run, James is planning to join Peace Corps on a 27-month assignment visiting a particular country to help people in need. And he is doing all of this because of a larger goal he wants to achieve.

“I want everybody to be aware of what’s actually the state of affairs in the world,” he said. “If everybody chips in a little bit we can actually make a difference.”

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