Updated | Feb 28, 2017
Scotty Parker, a seventh grader from Hanahan, SC, is on a mission to raise awareness about the global water crisis (1.8 billion people around the world lack access to safe water). He first learned about the crisis at age seven in his Sunday school class. As a result, on his eighth birthday, he collected donations instead of gifts and sent the funds to Water Mission.
Two years ago, Scotty rode his bike across the state of South Carolina to continue to raise awareness and funds. His enthusiasm and fundraising efforts surprised everyone when he generated over $70,000 that was used to help bring safe water to communities in Honduras.
Now, Scotty is training for his biggest challenge yet: a coast-to-coast bike ride, from Santa Monica, CA to North Charleston, SC. The cross-country ride is set to start at the Santa Monica Pier in June and finish eight weeks later in August at Water Mission’s headquarters.
Scotty is hoping the ride will continue to draw attention to the global water crisis. Additionally, he has a personal goal of raising $500,000 and recently received a big boost in meeting this goal when an anonymous donor announced a $100,000 matching gift.
“I was inspired by Scotty’s big goal and his heartfelt trust in God. Hopefully others will be motivated by his personal sacrifice and will help him raise funds that will deliver more safe water around the world.”
~ Anonymous Donor
Scotty’s heart breaks for the children around the world who do not have access to safe water. He knows that their health is impacted, and as a result, they miss school which diminishes their education. “I am motivated to ride each and every mile so that we can see the beaming smiles of thousands of children tasting safe water for the very first time,” says Scotty.
Training Like a Pro
Scotty’s training is intense. He logs approximately 100 miles a week on his bicycle as well as incorporates rigorous running and swimming programs into his routine. In 2016, he biked nearly 3,800 training miles, participated in multiple sprint triathlons and ran a half marathon to demonstrate his commitment and perseverance to get his body in shape for his eight-week ride. Even with all this activity, he still finds time to get his schoolwork done.
Scotty will finish his ride at Water Mission’s headquarters in North Charleston in August. View his 11-state bike route and follow his blog at scottysride.com.
Original Blog Release | January 12, 2017
Scotty Parker, a seventh grader from Charleston, is on a mission to raise awareness of the 1.8 billion people around the world who lack access to safe water. If you ever met Scotty, you’d know right away that not much holds him back and that his faith, ambition and family fuel his mission.
When Scotty was 10 years old, he rode his bike across the state of South Carolina and raised over $70,000 to draw his home state’s attention to the global water crisis and help bring safe water systems to communities in Honduras.
After Scotty’s first ride, his mother Pam was quoted in The Post and Courier, saying,
“We’re all a little nervous about what he might do next.” But even Pam couldn’t have seen the magnitude of Scotty’s next ride coming.
Now, as a 12-year-old, his sights are even higher.
Today, Scotty is training for his biggest challenge yet: a coast-to-coast bike ride from Santa Monica, CA, across 11 states to Charleston, SC, this summer. He will set out in June and return in August, and he has a personal goal of raising $500,000. The final stretch of his 3,300 miles will be to cheering fans and donors at Water Mission’s North Charleston headquarters on the Old Navy Base.
Scotty’s heart breaks for the children around the world who have to drink dirty water, making them sick and unable to attend school.
The funds he raises will go directly to making sure that thousands of children will never have to drink unsafe water again. Give to Scotty’s Ride
“This ride is not about me or my own achievement, but about the children all over the world receiving safe water for the first time.”
– Scotty Parker
You might question a 12-year-old’s ability, commitment, and stamina to go big for such a worthy cause. But once you meet him and the Parker family, you understand that not much deters his passion.
Scotty logs about 100 cycling miles per week for training, in addition to running, swimming, and most importantly, school. In 2016, he biked nearly 3,800 training miles, ran several sprint triathlons and a half marathon (355 miles total), and finished the first half of seventh grade.
It’s a family affair because his parents, Pam and Steve Parker, spend weekends, breaks, and school nights preparing for the ride by cycling through South Carolina, ascending mountains in Asheville, and navigating the Northeast on bikes to build stamina and perseverance. And, his two sisters, are his biggest cheerleaders and take an active role in spreading awareness of his ride in their Hanahan community.
As he traverses the Smokey Mountains and crosses the Mojave Desert, the motivation that pushes Scotty to ride each and every mile is found in the beaming smiles of children tasting safe water for the very first time.
Our prayers of protection, guidance and encouragement blanket Scotty on a daily basis at Water Mission. My colleagues and I marvel and rejoice in his example – at a very young age – to make an impact on the global water crisis.
If you are interested in following his biking journey that begins June 2017 across 11 states, bookmark scottysride.com and follow his Instagram.