News / USA

US Volunteer Travels Cross Country to Help People in Need

Drew Johnson delivers food for the Meals on Wheels program
Drew Johnson delivers food for the Meals on Wheels program
TEXT SIZE - +

President Barack Obama has been stressing the importance of public service and volunteering.  Drew Johnson is doing that in 48 U.S. states over 48 weeks.  He has done everything from building homes and delivering meals, to cleaning up after a flood.

Drew Johnson, a web designer, considers helping others his passion.  He says it occurred to him one day that he should make a road trip to help the needy.

"And volunteer as you go, really help people, and then use your knowledge and ability with technology to connect people, to motivate them to go out and serve their communities," he said.


Inspiration and documentary
He began his journey last October and is documenting his experiences on a blog and on Facebook.  He is encouraging people to make volunteering a part of their lives.  "I wanted to invite people along with me, and I think some of the best ways to do that is through pictures, video and writing," he explained. "But the blog to me is kind of that mixture of everything and allows people to follow along."

Johnson lives simply and relies on donations.  Sometimes people feed him and offer a place to stay.  Otherwise, he sleeps in a tent, or in his car.  He says he tries to set up volunteer work in advance, but sometimes he just arrives in a town and asks where he can serve.

When Nashville, Tennessee, was devastated by flooding this year, he helped people remove debris from their homes. He also lent a hand to refugees, including people from Burundi in East Africa.

Making a difference
Today he is delivering free meals to the elderly in Maryland through a program called Meals on Wheels.

Peggy Toole of Meals on Wheels says Johnson was a wonderful surprise. "I wish there were more people like him putting a spotlight on how important it is to volunteer, to just help one another, try to put yourself in somebody else's position," she stated.

Johnson does the dirty jobs some volunteers don't want to do like cleaning up after horses.  At a location in Pennsylvania, where horses were rescued from certain slaughter he places covering on their heads to protect them from flies.

Kindness begets kindness
Johnson believes kindness begets kindness. The owner of this auto shop in Maryland fixes Johnson's car brakes after hearing he volunteered for Meals on Wheels. "I think it's great," the mechanic said. "I think it's cool, and we're going to help him out."

"You can use your talents, your abilities in so many different areas out there to actually help people to make this world a better place," Johnson said. He will continue his travels through October.  But he says his journey to help others will never end.   

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid