In 2010, the country singer Jimmy Wayne, known for the song “Stay Gone,” made a 1,700 mile trek from Nashville to Phoenix. He even lost a record deal in the process. But he said that he had no regrets about anything, reported People. Why? He wanted to raise awareness for kids in foster care–for the ones still in the system and the ones who grew out of it without anyone to take care of them.
He’s recently written down his experiences in a children’s book called “Ruby the Foster Dog.” Ruby was the dog he adopted during his long walk. She’d been abandoned in an animal shelter.
“The [foster care] children and the dogs actually have the same story,” Wayne told People. “They’re in a home, a shelter and they need help. They need love, to be adopted and to be given a forever home.”
He’s already written other memoirs, but they weren’t targeted towards children. With his new book, he wants to bring hope to those who are still struggling.
Wayne is no stranger to the foster care system. As a youth, he spent his years going between his alcoholic mother, foster families, and sometimes the streets. All of his dark experiences have only made him more determined to help others who are in the foster care system.
In spite of all of his bad experiences, Wayne eventually found his own hope in the form of an older couple, the Costners, who took him in as a teenager.
Wayne admitted, “The fact that I grew up like I did, and had seen everything that I had, I was so surprised when this couple–both in their 70s–took a chance on me. I thought that if this family knew anything about me and where I came from, it wouldn’t work. They let down their guard and took me in their house.” He hopes that others can reach out and give other kids the same chance he received.
Wayne created a nonprofit organization to bring awareness for kids in foster care, Project Meet Me Halfway. Visit the official site to support their cause.