Jupiter man’s U.S. bike tour to assist homeless, present energy of pet remedy
JUPITER — Along with his two furry companions, Chibby Choo and Ok Poppy, by his aspect, and his bus and trailer loaded together with his electrical bike and provides, Jay Hamm will spend the subsequent two months on the street, volunteering and spreading the phrase about his pet-therapy program.
The Jupiter resident will depart from the Jupiter Inlet at dawn Saturday for the beginning of a 10-week 9,700-mile “Bike Round America” tour during which he’ll make stops in 20 cities in Florida and 16 different states. Hamm stated he plans to spend about two to a few days in every metropolis, driving round on his bicycle together with his canines, providing pet remedy and offering provides to the homeless.
Hamm is the founding father of Paws For Compassion, the pet-therapy nonprofit he began 5 years in the past to honor his sister, Tamra Williams, who died of most cancers in 2015. He has achieved related excursions in previous, finishing a four-day bike journey throughout Florida in 2018 and touring from Jupiter to Huntington Seaside, Calif., in 2019.
“I needed to do one thing to boost consciousness about pet remedy and I needed to do one thing to honor my sister, which is why I do all that,” stated Hamm, 54.
Hamm stated he was impressed to start pet remedy after witnessing a second during which Chibby Choo supplied consolation to Tamra throughout her sickness.
“I inform all people, that was the day that I seemed up at God and he stated, ‘Do one thing with this canine,'” Hamm stated. He acquired Chibby Choo registered for pet remedy and began volunteering at native assisted-living amenities and hospitals.
“I began going to nursing houses. They invited me proper in,” Hamm stated. “From the get go, it was successful.”
Coronavirus issues shift tour’s focus from nursing houses to the homeless
The upcoming journey will differ from his cross-country trek two years in the past. With entry to nursing houses and hospitals nonetheless restricted in lots of locations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hamm has shifted his focus to serving to the homeless.
His Pedego electrical bike has a custom-built sidecar that he makes use of to hold Chibby Choo, an 8-year-old Catahoula leopard hound, and Ok Poppy, a 3-year-old Chihuahua and Dachshund combine.
“I will be hooking up with native church buildings to seek out out the place their homeless communities are in order that I can go serve them,” Hamm stated.
“The benefit of this bike is that I can put 20 lunches on right here, a cooler and a backpack full of garments, and I can get round a metropolis fast. I can discover the individuals within the again alleys.”
On the earlier journey, his buddy Joe Spano accompanied him, driving the assist bus whereas Hamm averaged about 50 miles a day on the bicycle. He visited 25 assisted-living amenities in 22 days.
This time, Hamm will do many of the journey himself, driving the bus and parking it at every cease.
“The times I’m in town, I can be on my bike more often than not to attach and share with individuals what I’m doing,” he stated.
Hamm plans to journey throughout the nation once more from Jupiter to San Diego, then up the Pacific coast to Seattle. He then will head east to Rutland, Vermont, with stops in numerous states close to the Canadian border.
From there, Hamm will head south alongside the Atlantic coast, finishing his journey July 8 in Key West. Hamm stated that his mom, Sue, who lives in Georgia, will accompany him for the ultimate leg of the journey.
New journey will begin at finish of cross-country bike journey
The tour will mark the tip of 1 chapter for Hamm and the start of a brand new one.
Hamm, who has lived in Jupiter for 26 years, just lately resigned his place because the amenities director at First United Methodist Church Jupiter-Tequesta. After the journey, he plans to maneuver to Lochloosa, a hamlet midway between Ocala and Gainesville.
He plans to proceed the pet-therapy program and ministering to others. Hamm stated his purpose is to tour 800,000 miles in his bus over the subsequent 16 years.
“That is the primary 10,000 miles of an 800K ministry,” he stated. “That is the start of a 16-year dedication to serving God and remembering my sister.”