Woman walks the walk to prevent child abuse
Walking across North America is not an everyday occurrence.
From California to Washington, D.C., Les Thiele is making that walk to bring attention to the problem of child abuse.
Planning to arrive at the capital by mid-September, Thiele, a Wyoming resident, will walk through communities across the country to show compassion for victims, to recognize the workers of our country and to let children know that there is help out there.
“I see child abuse as a hereditary disease. It’s something we can cure. We are the cure,” Thiele said Monday as she walked through South Lake Tahoe.
Thiele is traveling parts of the trip with her daughter, Thiele Robinson, 24, and her two sons, Paul Robinson, 19, and Thos Robinson, 22.
Coordinating the trip is Shawn Champion of Outward Bound. She is also driving a Winnebago Thiele rented for seven months, which follows Thiele and meets her at a destination point at the end of each day.
“I want to be able to walk all the way across,” said Thiele, who also has a bicycle as a second mode of transportation.
Thiele is walking to promote better parenting skills and ensure a better future for children.
“Children are our fellow citizens, not our possessions,” Thiele said.
She wants people to realize that there are changes to be made and that the people of the country are capable of making the decision to end child abuse.
“We think of abused children as coming from lower-income families, but children living in middle- and upper-income families suffer the same disease,” she said.
Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., Thiele hopes to walk in with followers who share the same dream.
“I’m going to see the president, the candidates and anyone who will listen,” she said.
Thiele said that since President Clinton received civil rights funding, she’s hoping a huge chunk will go into education.
Thiele also wants to send out the message that if there is a child being abused they should tell someone and keep telling them because something can be done to stop it.
Thiele has a Web site at http://www.thewalkfoundation.org, where Thiele and her family started a foundation with the purpose to promote education.
“I want to thank the people of California for welcoming us. They have been really kind,” Thiele said. “California’s got great kids.”
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