Walk with the World!
Kathy Villemure, a local retired health care chaplain, is planning to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela – a nearly 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain - in May and June. She has decided to set up a fundraiser for Refugee Connections Spokane and their work to lift up refugees and immigrants in this community. Kathy says, "The idea to make this pilgrimage is Divinely inspired. When I first heard about the Camino a few years ago, I thought people who considered it were nuts! But I keep getting nudges and God-winks. I know this pilgrimage is for my soul and for my own transformation. I have the feeling it will change my life."
Although I really know very little about the plight of refugees, it's been on my mind for some time that it's totally unfair that a person like me - a privileged American with means and time and freedom and with quality shoes and backpack - can fly to Spain to walk the Camino while others are fleeing for their lives with little or nothing. I'd like to walk in solidarity with them somehow - what's it like to walk 500 miles!?
I wondered if my walking could also benefit refugees in some way. Is there a way people could pledge so much a mile or kilometer that I walk, or for the entire pilgrimage, to a local non-profit for refugee assistance? A penny a mile would be $5.00 - that is...if I could actually walk 500 miles! So, i contacted Refugee Connections Spokane and they got the ball rolling.
This is not a political idea - I know the plight of refugees is very controversial and very complex. But it's a humanitarian idea - to support people who have come with the clothes on their backs, and to support those who work with them.
We will post updates as Kathy walks in solidarity with the world! Please note as a memo or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your contribution is for the Camino Pilgrimage Fundraiser. Please send checks to: Refugee Connections Spokane, 35 W. Main Ave. Ste 205, Spokane, WA 99201.