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A Man, a Goat, and a Mission

September 24, 2016 6:59 pm0 commentsViews: 43
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A man strolling along the road accompanied by a full-grown goat is an unusual sight in Fairless Hills (and many other suburban settings). But Steve Wescott is accustomed to curious stares by now. After all, he’s been walking American roads with his goat since May 2nd, 2012.

On that day over four years ago, Mr. Wescott walked out from under the shadow of the Space Needle in downtown Seattle, Washington on the first leg of a journey that would take him across the United States and —if all goes well— end on October 1, 2016 in Times Square, New York City.

On September 13, Steve Wescott was enjoying a well-earned dinner at DeLorenzo’s Italian Restaurant on Trenton Road while his goat Miles grazed happily on the grass in an alleyway outside, surrounded by interested onlookers.

Mr. Wescott, a cheerful and gregarious man with tattoos across his chest and arms, interrupted his meal to speak with a Leader reporter. He explained that the purpose of his long trek is to raise funds for an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya that was founded by a longtime friend and fellow musician named Steve Turner. “The orphanage is called Uzima Outreach,” he said. “Uzima is a Swahili word that means life.”

Mr. Wescott, a self-described Christian who hails from Spokane, said the effort has raised over $100,000 so far. “That money will go toward buying two acres of land, drilling a well for clean water, erecting a fence, and other necessary steps for the needy children of this village.”

Miles the goat is along as a symbol of Africa but is also surprisingly good company. “We’ve had a lot of good long conversations,” Mr. Wescott said with a chuckle. “And he never complains. Goats are very sturdy animals. A goat has 4 compartments to its stomach, so it can travel a long time on just the food and water it’s carrying inside it.”

When asked if he camps outdoors most nights, Mr. Wescott shook his head. “I’ve gotten so much media coverage that everywhere I go, there are people who know about my mission and open their homes to me.” Mr. Wescott’s journey, which is dubbed Needle2Square in honor of its starting and ending points, has been featured in newspapers across America and in People magazine. He has also been a guest on the Steve Harvey show.

In fact, he said, all the attention has slowed his progress. “Miles and I are only covering 4 or 5 miles a day at this point because I spend most of my day chatting with people and well-wishers. On a good day without too many interruptions we can cover 10-15 miles.”

Mr. Wescott is grateful for the attention because it helps his cause and leads to donations. “People have heard about what I’m doing and often accompany me for a day, a week, even a month. One guy, Thomas, flew in from Sweden and walked with me for 9 days.”

For the last leg of the walk, as he approaches Times Square on October 1st, Mr. Wescott expects to be accompanied by quite a crowd. “Two chartered buses will be arriving, bringing people from all over the US and even the world, to accompany me.”

In spite of the hardships and the thousands of miles, Mr. Wescott feels blessed. “I’ve experienced the kindness of America in a way that few people have,” he said. ■

 

Interested readers can learn more about Mr. Wescott’s journey and donate at needle2square.com or uzimaoutreach.com. Steve Wescott can be reached at needle2square@gmail.com

 

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