Ga. man finishes 648-mi march to DC to raise awareness for poverty

Terrence Lester arrived in the nation's capital.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A Georgia man has completed a 648-mile march to the District to raise awareness for poverty.

Terence Lester, of Atlanta, wrapped up the march at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C. late Saturday afternoon.

Lester started the march two months ago after an elderly woman walked seven miles to his office, in College Park, Georgia, in need of food.

"I had these thoughts," he said. "How long will we allow poverty to strip away the hopes and dreams of everyday people?"

Learn More: March Against Poverty 2016

Lester, and a friend, recorded the stories of other people struggling with poverty during the multi-state march.

But, he said there were many days that the march taxed him both physically and mentally.

"There were many days I wanted to quit, but my wife would flat out tell me, 'keep walking'," he said.

Previous Story: Man walks from Atlanta to DC to raise awareness for poverty

Lester walked through rain and heat before he finally made his way to the M.L.K. memorial. He said he thought it was important to end his march at that D.C. monument because King died so people like him could have a voice.

Lester said the march ultimately gave him a deeper understanding of the challenges impoverished people face.

"I think to understand poverty, you have got to give time to it," he said. "You can't just prejudge someone's lifestyle."

His group, Love Beyond Walls, plans to make a documentary about the march. It will also raise funds to build a "Love Center" back in Atlanta.

You can see learn more about Lester's journey by following the hashtag #Map16 on Twitter.


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