Man Walks Across the Country to Raise Awareness

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COLUMBIA - Barrett Keene made a stop in Boonville today as part of his walk across the country to raise awareness for orphans in America.

Keene, a retired Florida teacher and current PhD student, will walk 18 miles today with his friend from Skokie, Ill. reaching a total of 1500 miles by the end of the day. Keene also founded the organization Go Walk America to help people become aware of the realities that 145 million children are either orphaned or abandoned in America.

"I started out this morning at 1482 from Miami, Florida, through Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, all the way to here in Boonville, Missouri," Keene said. is sponsoring the Go Walk America Founder. Keene wants to encourage people to get involved specifically through the Global Orphan Project which is based in Kansas City, Missouri.

"We're encouraging people to sponsor school uniforms which creates jobs for parents to sew the uniforms, provides the uniforms that children need to have, what they need to go to school and it funds orphan care," Keene said.

Keene has worked with children in Brazil, Haiti, Guatemala, Panama, and Costa Rica with the Global Orphan Project. They provide care for orphans in 15 countries and they are starting work in statewide.

"Our walk is benefiting the Global Orphan Project and every one of the school uniforms that gets donated is actually sewn in a GO project sewing center in that same local community," Keene said. "The uniforms are provided to orphans and children that are living in rags in the community that has to have these school uniforms to go to school. We've been blessed to be able to sponsor almost 1100 uniforms for children in Haiti and Uganda."

If you are interested in volunteering, you can go to the Global Orphan Project's website or "go to, join the 350,000 mile challenge, and donate a school uniform and half of the money goes to provide food, shelter, and care for orphans in 15 countries," Keene said.