Woman walking across America reaches 5,000 miles near Gadsden - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Woman walking across America reaches 5,000 miles near Gadsden

Posted: Updated:
GADSDEN, Ala. - The Gadsden mayor and city council declared Tuesday as Kim Denmark Day.

Just over 24 hours later, Kim Denmark completed the 5,000th mile of a walk across America. Her journey began nearly a decade ago in her home state of Ohio.

She used to operate a staffing agency, which located and provided employment to people searching for jobs. Denmark said it was a successful business, but she realized one day that she was being selfish and did not do anything to help or inspire the people in need.

"It was all about money, it was all about numbers, and I didn't even really care about the people anymore, as long as they made me money." Denmark said.

"I experienced something with the Lord that showed me it's not about the money and it is about the people. Now I'm walking across the nation for the very people I did not help, or turned my back on," she said.

"Those are the homeless, the poor, the soldiers, who fought for me. I now walk for them."

She bought orange clothing for visibility, and embroidered it with "God Said 'Walk', Kim Denmark's Spiritual Walk Across America" and the outline of the United States. She documented information about the homeless people she encountered, and posted tales of the travels on her website and a Facebook page.

Denmark said she began to ask what she could do for them that day. She met with city leaders and workers at shelters, food banks, and other agencies that provide help to the poor and homeless. She began to make connections and create networks to provide assistance and guidance.

"When I find the homeless people, I direct them where they should go, need to go, and if I have to, walk them in there. Same thing with the veterans," Denmark said.

"They may not know where to go, they're not well all of them, some of them are sick, and they've just kind of lost touch. They need love, they need [someone to say] 'come on and go with me, let's go get something to eat,' and loosen them up a little bit," she said.

"Once they start talking they pour out everything, and all they needed was someone to love, someone to love them."

Denmark said Wednesday felt like she just started. Every day is a fresh new beginning. She walks about 10 miles and puts out her marker. Volunteers from a church or local organization, or a police officer or deputy, will typically check on her. Often they provide a place to spend the night, at either a hotel or private home.

Gadsden councilman Robert Avery arranged for her to stay at the Gadsden Inn. Avery, mayor Sherman Guyton, and the other council members recognized Denmark at Tuesday's meeting and proclaimed it Kim Denmark Day.

She said it recharged her batteries and made her want to go even further, as did the encouragement and support from drivers and others passing by.

"People will give me a donation while I'm walking, a dollar here, a dollar there, and it's always just enough to eat for the day and have extra change for any personal needs that I have," Denmark said.

That often includes shoes. She is on her 27th pair of sneakers of the trek so far.

"This journey is about being a servant. This journey is about the love we have in America for each other, and I want it to be epidemic and I want people to choose to do something," she said as tears filled her eyes.

"Maybe not as grand as walking across America, but there's things you can do in your community. I love my country, and I thank God for a second chance to give back."

Wednesday's walk was from Gadsden to Piedmont as Denmark heads to Atlanta. Her goal is to reach Washington, D.C. and meet with White House staff by the end of the year. She wants to share her documentation and research which include proposals to use vacant properties for homeless people who are serious about educating themselves and getting on their feet.

"I feel if we roll up our sleeves as a community and not necessarily rely on the government, we as a community can lift our own boot straps," Denmark said.

"I'm just here and going forward to touch as many hearts as I can and be a servant to as many people as I can."

She does not think about how many years she's been on this mission. She keeps track of months, and counted 104 months. There were a couple of breaks, but she picked up her American flag and started again.

As for when she will stop?

"When I'm finished,"

Visit kimdenmark.com for more information and to show your support.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • 1 cent sales tax increase for Hoover City Schools?

    1 cent sales tax increase for Hoover City Schools?

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:58:15 GMT
    In recent months, possible re-zoning and a proposed cost-sharing model for school buses have been controversial issues tied to funding for Hoover City Schools. But longtime Hoover resident and retiredMore >>
    In recent months, possible re-zoning and a proposed cost-sharing model for school buses have been controversial issues tied to funding for Hoover City Schools. But longtime Hoover resident and retiredMore >>
  • Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:59:40 GMT
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
  • Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:32 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:32:28 GMT
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Join us for WOOFstock this weekend (Sept. 6, 2014)

    Join us for WOOFstock this weekend (Sept. 6, 2014)

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:52:22 GMT
    Is your dog ready for WOOFstock this weekend? It's an annual event in Hoover that draws thousands to Veterans Park on Valleydale.More >>
    Is your dog ready for WOOFstock this weekend? It's an annual event in Hoover that draws thousands to Veterans Park on Valleydale.More >>
  • UPDATE: Crews restore water service in Birmingham's Norwood area

    UPDATE: Crews restore water service in Birmingham's Norwood area

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:04 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:04:24 GMT
    Crews with the Birmingham waters board are still trying to fix a water main break that erupted yesterday in the Norwood area. According to spokeswoman Binnie Myles the break involves a 20 inch main sandwiched in between two gas lines.More >>
    Crews with the Birmingham waters board are still trying to fix a water main break that erupted yesterday in the Norwood area. According to spokeswoman Binnie Myles the break involves a 20 inch main sandwiched in between two gas lines.More >>
  • Car crashes into Birmingham house

    Car crashes into Birmingham house

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:18:57 GMT
    Neighbors living on 16th Way Southwest in Birmingham say they're dealing with a serious problem.Numerous accidents are happening around a dangerous curve.Sunday a car slammed into a house.Neighbors say no one was hurt. But there are many concerns."I was wondering was I going to run or duck, was it going to hit our home." But a dodge charger hit the house across the street from Marcus Yarbrough's house. "I heard the car coming, screeching around the corner." "Instead of having a head on collis...More >>
    Neighbors living on 16th Way Southwest in Birmingham say they're dealing with a serious problem.Numerous accidents are happening around a dangerous curve.Sunday a car slammed into a house.Neighbors say no one was hurt. But there are many concerns."I was wondering was I going to run or duck, was it going to hit our home." But a dodge charger hit the house across the street from Marcus Yarbrough's house. "I heard the car coming, screeching around the corner." "Instead of having a head on collis...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow

P.O. Box 8 Tulsa, OK 74101-0008

Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTUL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.