Walk To Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way
Imagine yourself a 13-year-old hundreds of miles away from home, in a strange city, and your mom leaves you at a bus station parking lot and drives off into the night with her lover.
That’s the real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. It’s a miracle that Jimmy survived being hungry and homeless, bouncing in and out of the foster care system, and sleeping in the streets. But he didn’t just overcome great adversity in his life; he now uses his country music platform to help children everywhere, especially teenagers in foster care who are about to age out of the system.
Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy’s horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, “She changed every cell in my body.”
It also chronicles Jimmy’s rise to fame in the music industry and his Meet Me Halfway campaign: his walk halfway across America, 1,700 miles from Nashville to Phoenix, to raise awareness for foster kids.
Ruby the Foster Dog
When Ruby, an adorable mixed-breed puppy with an underbite, gets mixed up in a daring attempt to help foster kids, she learns that love can overcome any obstacle… even a broken heart.
Abandoned in a shelter as a puppy, Ruby wonders if she’ll ever be adopted by a family. When Mr. James (known as Jimmy Wayne to country music fans) - a goofy looking, scruffy-faced man wearing ski goggles in the middle of the summer - stops by the shelter, he adopts Ruby.
Mr. James is walking halfway across America to raise awareness for the thousands of foster children who desperately need help. Ruby realizes that she’s not so very different from these kids: she’s scared and alone. If she doesn’t have help, she can’t have hope either. Mr. James wants to change all that, for her and for every foster kid in the United States.
On their adventure, Mr. James teaches Ruby about integrity, honesty, loyalty, faith, forgiveness, and trust, but mostly she learns how love can rescue someone and forever change lives. As they walk along historic routes and locations throughout the United States, Ruby quietly helps Mr. James overcome the issues he's been struggling with too. By the time they get to Phoenix (from Nashville) both of their lives are changed for the better.
Ruby’s story parallels the plight of the more than 400,000 children in foster care, the 30,000 who age-out annually at 18-years-young, and the 100,000+ children waiting to be adopted.
Paper Angels: A Novel
Kevin Morrell is a 43-year-old husband and father who runs a successful design and marketing firm now suffering in the current economy. Attempting to navigate the hectic Christmas mall traffic, Kevin stumbles across the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Project. His wife insists that he take a paper ornament.
The name on the ornament is Thomas Brandt, a 15-year-old still reeling from the implosion of his family — from years of verbal abuse from an alcoholic father to a struggling single mother who now finds herself and her children penniless. The only thing that has allowed Lynn to survive is her faith. Thomas shares that faith, but he also wonders why God has seemingly abandoned them.
A holiday classic, Paper Angels shares “two intertwined stories about family life and hard times…the hope of the Christmas holiday and…the goodness and compassion of loving hearts” (RT Book Reviews).
In 2014, Paper Angels was made into a TV movie starring Josie Bissett and Matthew Settle.