Jimmy Wayne Takes A Stand On Behalf of His ‘Paper Angels’ [VIDEO]
Singer Jimmy Wayne's life growing up wasn't a fairy tale; it was a nightmare. But Wayne is determined to use the story of his childhood to try to make sure others don't have to go through what he did.
In his autobiography, Walk To Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way, Wayne tells the story of his boyhood years. Born Jimmy Wayne Barber, the singer had childhood years that if they were called "dysfunctional", it would be a gross understatement: his father abandoned the family when Jimmy was a baby. His mother was in and out of prison, and when she was present, Jimmy was neglected, abused and eventually abandoned by his mother and her boyfriend at the age of 13.
Jimmy could have fallen victim to the system, lost by a foster program where he was shuffled from home to home, but at age 16, he was taken in by a couple that gave him the environment he needed to grow into a responsible adult. He was raised in a loving, yet strict home that showed him right from wrong.
Wayne never forgot what it was to be abandoned, left as a ward of the state, and ending up on the street. He also never forgot the love and kindness that took him in and made him the man he is today. Jimmy made a promise to himself that if he ever had the chance, if he could improve the life of even a single child in the foster care system, he would. As his career began to grow, Wayne began to turn his success into a chance to keep that promise.
His first effort may have been his biggest. He decided to walk across the country to bring attention to the plight of kids in the foster care system. The walk, called Meet Me Halfway, started in Nashville on January 1st, 2010, with a goal of walking 1,660 miles to Phoenix, AZ. Wayne walked 25 miles a day, only leaving the planned route to attend scheduled concerts. He also ventured to the California State Senate to speak on behalf of a bill to increase the age of children in the foster care system to 21. After suffering a broken foot along the route, Wayne arrived in Phoenix August 1st.
During the quest, Wayne found something more important than success on the country music charts. Along the way, Jimmy had decided what he really needed to do in life was dedicate himself wholly to the cause of foster children, and that’s exactly what he’s done.
Jimmy Wayne has joined with the Coca-Cola company to bring a new life to his efforts. Coca Cola has pledged $49,500 for Jimmy’s Meet Me Halfway Foundation, which will go towards creating a transitional homes for teens that are aging out of the foster care system.
And to support the cause, you can become a part of the effort. At selected stores across the country, you can purchase special six packs of Coca-Cola, in the retro 8 ounce bottles and a copy of Jimmy’s book for just $9.99, with proceeds going to the MMH Foundation, just look for the displays at your local grocery store.