NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC)
Since Memorial Day, Jonathan Valentine has been walking, sometimes up to 16,000 steps a day.
"I walk around the mall during the day at lunch,” Valentine said. “I have a whole lunch hour."
His company offers money for every step he takes, up to $8 a week, but it has to be spent in a week.
He decided he’d buy soap, and donate it.
"That would be a really easy way to make an impact, making small purchases each week," Valentine said.
"It's such a thing that we take for granted when we don't have the ability to make ourselves clean, a simple bar of soap can really transform someone's day and someone's life," Wendy Hudson-Jacoby, Valentine’s Pastor at North Charleston United Methodist Church said.
Valentine and Hudson-Jacoby decided to give the soap to the nearby Household Bank, which helps low income people.
"We started like maybe eight people,” Linda Lagosta, the bank’s director said. “Now 56."
They provide items people can't buy with food stamps, like soap.
As the miles started piling up, about 30 each week, word got around.
"Everybody just jumped on," Valentine said.” "Friends of mine, some coworkers, my family has given me a little bit of soap.”
"People from all parts of his life and all parts of our church really grasped on to that," Hudson-Jacoby said.
"One lady from our church actually went out to hotels and actually asked them for the sample bars," Valentine said,
When the program ends on Labor Day, Valentine will have walked the distance from Charleston to Jacksonville and back.
That's worth 650 bars of soap.
"That would be wonderful,” Lagosta said. “It will serve us a couple of months, at least."
Hudson-Jacoby saw the simple but impactful act, has taught a lesson.
"We can take small things and they can become really large and wonderful gifts," Hudson-Jacoby said.
As part of his program, Valentine is also matching all the money that his company provides.
Donations can be made to North Charleston United Methodist or directly to the Household Bank.
It accepts any household items, not just soap.