Pastor Aims for 3,700 Mile Trek Across US for a Diaper Charity
By David Jenkins - Crossmap On July 3, 2012
Pastor Eric Shadle of Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Richland, Washington
Eric Shadle, after having open heart surgery, set the determination to make a 3,700 mile journey across the United States to raise money for diapers.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church Pastor from Richland, Washington stated in an interview with The Christian Post that the bike ride sabbatical is to promote diapers. The purpose is to "raise awareness about the need for diapers," according to Shadle.
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"I wanted to do something that could take the conversation across the country and raise money as well as awareness. This is a national issue, and one in which I believe that followers of Jesus should be on the forefront of helping to solve. And that's because this is a family issue," Shadle continues.
Shadle began training for the bike across country last September; however, it was interrupted with open heart surgery in February.
"This is a cause greater than me," said Shadle, who spoke about how many lower income families with infants are forced to choose between food and diapers.
"I will make it because God has called me to do this. And any pain I endure will only serve to remind me of the pain the infants & toddlers endure every day without our help."
During the trek, the pastor will stop at various churches to speak about the charity he is involved in. If all goes according to the schedule, he will arrive at a Silver Spring, MD., headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sept. 5. Alison Weir of the National Diaper Bank Network has been invited to meet Shadle in Silver Spring.
Weir, director of NDBN, told The Christian Post the aim of the organization to create "a network of diaper banks."
"Since his ride helps foster our goal of raising awareness about the issue that many people cannot afford diapers, we reached out to Pastor Eric and the diaper bank staff to offer our assistance in connecting him with other diaper banks across the country," said Weir.
"So far, it seems to be a great partnership, as many diaper banks have been corresponding with the pastor about his upcoming trip."
Weir also pointed out that the need for diapers is often overlooked for low income families.
"We often hear from food pantries and social service organizations we work with that they are surprised when they hear from their clients that their greatest need is diapers," said Weir.
"If you do not have small children, or are not reliant on food stamps and other assistance, you might be unaware that diapers are a necessary and expensive need for low-income families."
Shadle is a member of the Tri-Cities Diaper Bank, which has a diaper distribution center in Richland, WA.
From the promotional journey, Shadle hopes to raise enough funds to purchase 1 million diapers. The National Diaper Bank Network will match all donations made to the Tri-Cities Diaper Bank.