FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A 13-year-old pedaling 3,300 miles from Santa Monica, California to Charleston, South Carolina for safe water made a stop in Flagstaff Wednesday.
Scotty Parker began his journey on June 3, back when he was 12 years old.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are or even if you have anything to give, you could help change the world for better,” Parker said.
Parker realized this at just 7 years old when he first heard about Water Mission.
“Every day 4,000 children die just from water -- something so simple,” Parker said.
The nonprofit gives clean water to those around the world who don’t have it.
“I saw pictures of kids that were just like me,” Parker said, adding, “That could’ve been me, you know, if the world had turned out a little bit different I could be the one struggling […] that wasn’t right, you know, I was sitting here doing nothing about it. That had to change. I had to be part of that change.”
Scotty took action.
“So pretty much, every weekend I didn’t really get to do anything but ride a bike to get ready,” Parker said.
Scotty first rode across his home state of South Carolina to bring awareness to the issue, raising enough cash to get two schools in Honduras clean drinking water, but he wanted to do more.
Pedaling from coast to coast, Scotty was looking to raise half a million dollars -- regardless of what elements he faced along the way.
“It was about 130 degrees coming off the concrete, so it was hot,” Scotty said about riding through the Arizona desert.
He said that heat couldn’t stand in the way of his faith and the thought of dying children.
“Riding through the desert was nothing compared to what they go through every day just to get dirty water,” Parker said.
Scotty and his group are scheduled to arrive in South Carolina at the start of August.