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Twelve Year Old Boy Spends 50 Nights Outside to Help the Homeless

Jeremy Wood, 12, is hiking 50 nights on the Appalachian Trail to raise money for homeless shelter.

Contact: Josh Wood, 630-253-8772

ELGIN, Ill., June 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- Little League will end early this summer for twelve-year-old homeschooler, Jeremy Wood.

He is also going to miss Vacation Bible School. The day after his twelfth birthday in June he and his father are headed for the Appalachian Trail. During a 50 day period they will sleep outside and hike close to 500 miles to raise awareness and resources for the homeless.

The Appalachian Trail is not totally new to Jeremy. He was first on the trail in Pennsylvania as a five-year-old, taking a day hike with his family. Last year he visited the trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and this past March he hiked a week in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. He has never attempted such an extended hike, but is looking forward to "spending time with my Dad" and "not having to practice piano everyday." His biggest disappointment is missing the playoffs with his little league team.

Jeremy first came into contact with the homeless through volunteering at the Wayside Center in Elgin. He has come to learn that while few children live on the streets, many families are broken apart because of homelessness.

As the parents are getting their lives back together, the children are often sent to live with grandparents, aunts, or foster care. Jeremy wants to help these families get reunited. All proceeds from his hike will be used for programs to help parents get into the position to properly care for their children.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Jeremy or learn more of his journey can visit www.waysidehelp.org or email jeremyshike@gmail.com.