Man walking across America for a cause

Posted at 6:26 PM, Oct 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-07 00:39:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY - A PhD student from New York is walking more than 3,000 miles to get his message out.

Barrett Keene started walking in Miami on Jan. 28 on his way to San Francisco.

"I walked up through Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver. Now I'm in Salt Lake heading to Elko, Nevada," Keene said. "I've been going 230-something nights."

Keene is walking to raise awareness and money to buy school uniforms for children in Uganda and Haiti.

"How this idea came about was I was at the orphanage in South America and I was holding a little 2-year-old baby that hadn't been held much in the past week and spending time with her and these other kids," Keene said. "And it just hit me that this is not okay. We have millions of orphaned and abandoned children in our world."

Keene says that the 2,900 miles he's walked so far have been painful, but he says it's worth it.

"I laugh because it is pretty crazy. Every day things hurt. My right foot is killing me today. I have a blister on my heel that's big enough to talk to you," he said. "But that's okay, because if I have a little discomfort for a couple months, who cares. Because we have millions of children who are facing much worse conditions every day of their lives."

So far, Keene has raised enough money for 2,100 school kids. His goal is one child for every mile. At his current pace, he'll be done by Thanksgiving.

For more information about the walk and on donation, visit