Jimmy Wayne Close to the Finish Line on Cross-Country Trek
On New Year's Day, Jimmy Wayne left Nashville, Tenn. on foot, walking to Phoenix, Ariz. where he has been raising awareness for at-risk teens who age out of the foster system and become homeless. In the six months since the day he launched project Meet Me Halfway, Jimmy has crossed through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and most of New Mexico. Jimmy is just miles from the Arizona border and expects to be finished by the end of July. The Boot recently caught up with Jimmy on the outskirts of Socorro, N.M. for an exclusive update on his journey.
"I'm starting to get into the mountains between Arizona and New Mexico," Jimmy tells The Boot. "There are a lot of mountains here. I actually had a chance to stay on a camp the other night called The Ranches. It's a facility that houses youth, however, they were out for summer break, and it was vacant. They let me stay there in a guest room that they had. There weren't any youth there to talk, but it was cool to be able to stay there and be around it."
By having the opportunity to visit the various youth foundations across America, Jimmy has been able to pick up ideas for when he starts his own foundation after the Meet Me Halfway trek comes to an end. "It's going to be strong," he says.
Jimmy has stated before that project Meet Me Halfway will not end when he reaches HomeBase Youth Services in Phoenix. He has expressed interest in continuing his journey on foot in the years to come, but for now, he plans to shift gears back to the music when he reaches his destination next month. "I have to juggle glass hearts if you will," Jimmy admits. "I've been walking for six months which is more than I expected. Your touring suffers on the account of that. You've got to make a living and you've got to work. You've got to keep your band working. Hopefully I can do more touring, but at the same time I want to keep up the project and just figure out a new way to keep the walk going. At the same time, I hope to get back into the studio and record some songs. I've already started writing some songs from this experience of being out there walking."
Since he started his walk, Jimmy has had the support of many stars including LeAnn Rimes, who often voices her praise via Twitter. "Having LeAnn's support is huge," Jimmy beams. "She is a superstar that can influence many people to get involved and hopefully create a greater chance of helping these youth that need and deserve our help."
In recent weeks, other celebrities have gotten on board to support Jimmy and project Meet Me Halfway, including Tom Cruise, MTV's Jenny McCarthy, 'The View' co-host Joy Behar, actor Scott Baio, supermodel Cindy Crawford, Food Network chef Paula Deen, Jo Dee Messina, Kellie Pickler, Billy Ray Cyrus, Blaine Larsen, Darryl Worley and others. But regardless of what celebrity names Jimmy rounds up to support project Meet Me Halfway, he is certain of one thing -- this walk will not be done in vain. "Like I've always said, we're in the entertainment business, but I don't look at this walk as entertainment," Jimmy vows. "That's not what I'm doing it for. I'm doing it to raise awareness. I sing onstage to entertain, but I'm walking to raise awareness."