When someone becomes famous we as a society can only hope that this fame and fortune not only entertains us, but is used to touch the lives of others. In the case of the talented singer/songwriter Jimmy Wayne this is far and away the case. Some people just talk the talk, but Jimmy walks the walk…. literally! In 2010 he embarked on a life-changing walk across America to bring awareness to homeless youth. This walk started in Nashville, TN and ended in Phoenix, AZ, a 1,700-mile epic journey. This is dedication to a cause at it’s finest. Jimmy didn’t do this for publicity; he did it to change the lives of children. Jimmy is involved in many causes and advocates for issues that can benefit kids. In addition he has recently written a book called “Paper Angels,” which is inspired by his own story. CMTT had the chance to talk to Jimmy about the projects he is involved with.
CMTT: You created Project Meet Me Halfway, and you are the National CASA spokesperson. Can you tell us a little bit about the mission of these organizations?
Jimmy Wayne: Project Meet Me Halfway’s mission is to generate awareness, not funds. I want to keep it clear and to the point, this is about raising awareness. We can raise numbers and dollars, but if we raise numbers and people and have people knowing about the issue at hand that is ultimately going to make a big difference. When the people speak and push and vote that makes change. CASA is also an extraordinary organization because it is made up of volunteers. There is no money involved; volunteers don’t get paid so you know the child’s best interest is in mind. When they are standing in the courtroom speaking up for a kid, the judge knows that that women or man has the very best interest of that child in mind. When I heard about CASA and how they operate I fell in love and knew that is what I wanted to be affiliated with because they are real. I had to prove myself to become a spokesperson; they had to learn who I was and what I was about.
CMTT: You are an avid advocate for foster care children, adoption, at risk youth and homeless teens. What is an example of a single act of kindness that you have witnessed as an advocate for children?
JW: Actually one of the biggest things that has happened here in the last few months is getting a bill passed in the state of TN that extended foster care to age 21. It doesn’t cost much money, but what it does is helps many kids. If my numbers are correct, 258 children in the state of TN enrolled in college this year because this bill was passed. If this bill had passed the lives of those 258 people would have been different. They would have aged out of foster care and the statistics that surround these children when they don’t have help is startling. So seeing this one act of kindness by everyone involved in getting that bill passed was inspiring. We all worked together, we all did it. Because of everybody’s little piece and that one act of kindness, there are now 258 children going to college.
Jimmy is very passionate about these causes and believes the more people that know, the more awareness will spread. For more information regarding the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.
For more information on CASA please visit www.CASAforChildren.org.
Jimmy also started the Meet Me Halfway campaign to raise awareness for youth who “age out” of the foster care system and face serious problems. Visit www.projectMMH.org to learn more and see how you can help.
Read PART 1 of our interview with Jimmy Wayne here.
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Krissie Humphrey –CMTT Music Contributor