Country Trail Ride To Aid Children
ride 1900 miles on horseback? It takes an adventurous spirit, determination,
skill, and a cause. Trail boss Richard Fipps and the cowboys who
will join him in the ride from Cherokee County, Alabama to Vernal,
Utah know the trip will not be easy. There will be delays, breakdowns
and setbacks. That is when they will remember the reason they are
riding - hungry and hurting children.
six-year-old girl in the inner-city whose mother sold her to buy
drugs. A migrant worker's son who has not had a decent meal in months.
A child who lives in the sewers of Nogales, Arizona. A teen who
attends a youth program after school to escape the violence at home.
They, and children like them, are the reason.
April 26, 2002, Fipps and the others will begin Riding for the Children.
The adventure will last approximately three and a half months and
take riders from northeastern Alabama to the Colorado/Utah border,
passing through numerous communities, including: Memphis, TN; Little
Rock, AR; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; Amarillo, TX; Colorado Springs
and Denver, CO.
started talking about the ride kind of by accident", says Fipps.
"The more serious we got, the more I wanted to find someone
who was helping hungry kids in America. You see celebrities on TV
asking you to support children everywhere else, but there are needy
children and needy parents in our own country."
for the Children will benefit hungry and homeless men, women and
especially children. Monetary donations will go to the Association
of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM), headquartered in Kansas City,
MO, with more than 275 member ministries throughout the United States.
Canned food and non-perishable dry goods will be collected and distributed
by food banks and rescue missions located along the route, putting
the contributions to immediate use.
addition to feeding hungry people, AGRM members often provide a
haven for children and families dealing with the real-life issues
of poverty. "Some children have no idea that the 'American
Dream' includes a big house and a white picket fence," says
Steve Burger, AGRM Executive Director. "One of our missions
asked children in their youth program to draw a picture of home.
Nine out of ten drawings included a smoking gun or a knife dripping
a working cowboy who breaks and trains horses, owns a western wear
and feed store, and is a successful farrier, plans for the riders
to travel approximately 25 miles a day. At the end of each day,
the riders will make camp, cooking over an open fire and, weather
permitting, sleeping under the stars. Fipps and a few others plan
to complete the entire journey.Other participants will join a portion
of the ride as it passes through their community. "Someday,"
says Fipps, "I'll be able to tell my grandkids that I rode
across the country, and I did it for a reason. I've always tried
to help people in need get a meal or find a place to rest. We're
hoping to do that
in a big way."
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions members annually provide more
than 33 million meals, 12 million nights of lodging, and 28 million
articles of clothing to homeless men, women, and children. Rescue
Missions are faith-based, private organizations that also provide
job training, education, Christian rehabilitation programs and community
ministry to families and children.
more information about the Riding for the Children or the Association
of Gospel Rescue Missions, please refer to the web site at www.ridingforthechildren.org.