New Mexico Man Steps Up His Goal in 500-Mile Walk

Daniel Valdez (far right) has spent recent months preparing for his third 500-mile walk from Lovington, N.M., to Chihuahua, Mexico, starting on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Walking approximately 33 miles a day, sometimes picking up supporters along the way, as seen here.

Daniel Valdez (far right) has spent recent months preparing for his third 500-mile walk from Lovington, N.M., to Chihuahua, Mexico, starting on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Walking approximately 33 miles a day, sometimes picking up supporters along the way, as seen here.

 

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2014) – When it comes to the hurting, homeless and the hungry in the world, New Mexico resident Daniel Valdez has decided to make their plight his motivation for change. This year, Valdez will walk to provide a very special gift that’s called “Everything for a Family with Nothing” through Food For The Poor.

“I’ve seen homeless people who live on the street and it’s very hard to watch,” Valdez said. “I don’t wish that on anyone, and when I see a homeless family with children, it really breaks my heart.”          

For the third year, Valdez is preparing to embark on an arduous journey that’s becoming an annual event for him, walking 500 miles through more than a dozen U.S. cities, and across the border and into Mexico. The 52-year-old Valdez has spent months preparing for his third 500-mile walk, which will begin on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in his hometown of Lovington, New Mexico, and end in Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico. 

Valdez’s gift this year will allow Food For The Poor to provide a poor family with a new house with sanitation and water component, rice and beans for a full year, a small business project to help provide a source of income, school supplies for two children (including books and uniforms), clothing and shoes.

“What Mr. Valdez is planning is no easy task, we are sincerely touched by his desire to not only call attention to the needs of the poor, but to help a family who has absolutely nothing,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “One of Food For The Poor’s key projects has been building homes in the countries we serve, and Mr. Valdez’s generosity will allow us to make a world of difference in the lives of a family that is in dire need.”

Following 6 a.m. Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Lovington, Valdez will start walking at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in front of the Lea County Courthouse, which is located at 100 North Main Ave., Lovington, NM.

His route covers points in New Mexico and passes through the communities of 1. Lovington, N.M. 2. Hobbs, N.M. 3. Eunice, N.M. 4. Jal, N.M. 5. Kermit, Texas  6.Wink, Texas 7. Pyote, Texas 8. Coyanosa, Texas 9. Alpine, Texas 10. Marfa, Texas 11. Shafter, Texas 12. Presidio, Texas 13. Ojinaga, CH, Mexico 14. Aldama, CH, Mexico 15. Chihuahua, CH, Mexico 16. Delicias, CH, Mexico. To see a video animation of Valdez’s 500-mile journey please click www.FoodForThePoor.org/mapofroute.

This year, Valdez will push the limits of his mission by visiting two additional cities in Mexico, where he will hold two different events. He will travel to Satevo, Chihuahua, where he will do a 10 to15-mile walk, followed by a visit to Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, where he will wrap up his mission with a 5K Run on Jan. 6, 2015, on the festive day of Dia de Reyes (Kings’ Day).

The idea of helping the poor was a decade in the making for Valdez, who has been running in regional races for 10 years. It was during one of these runs from Hobbs, New Mexico, to his hometown of Lovington, with longtime friend and priest, the Rev. Manuel Ibarra, that he felt the call to action. After some encouraging words from his friend and with the support of his wife, four children and his congregation, his first 500-mile walk took place in 2012.

Last year, a portion of the proceeds from Valdez’s second 500-mile walk went toward Food For The Poor’s general feeding program, which provides hundreds of thousands of meals each day to the hungry in the 17 countries the international relief and development organization serves.

“It makes me happy to know there’s hope for people. It is God who made this possible and this is what keeps me going. I never want to quit, because when I think about the needs of the people, I want to help and it drives me to keep going,” said Valdez. “I like helping people, especially the poor. Doing so makes me feel close to God.”

Valdez’s parents will trail him on his journey, driving in the family’s RV, which is where Valdez will sleep at night.

To help Valdez reach his goal, visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/danielvaldez and make a secure online donation.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright

Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079

wandaw@foodforthepoor.com