Central Texas woman walking more than 700 miles to raise awareness, money for Ukraine

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 12:27 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Millions of Ukrainians have left their homes, some walking miles and miles to escape the destruction, and seeing those images has inspired one Central Texas woman to try and help.

Over the last month, Liz Rudd has walked more than 250 miles in parks and neighborhoods around the Waco area. Her goal? To walk 785 miles--the distance it would take to cross from one side of Ukraine to the other.

Rudd said she donated when war first broke out, but she wanted to do more, so she’s using her walk to raise money through a GoFundMe and plans to donate to charities. More than raising money, she wants to raise awareness.

“This should have never have happened again. This war is completely irrelevant,” Rudd said. “I just want to make people aware that if we turn a blind eye, nothing’s ever going to be accomplished over there. We can’t just turn a blind eye on watch a whole country being demolished.”

During the course of her walks, Rudd said the most challenging part has been the pain.

“I’ve had blisters, I’ve had calluses. And because they never heal, it feels like you’re walking on glass all the time,” Rudd said. “But I suppose what gets me through is I literally think of the pain they’re going through, the Ukrainians are going through, and I think to myself, they have no choice, so just get on with it.”

As she walks, Rudd said sometimes she listens to the radio to get her mind off what’s happening over there. Other times, she said there are a lot of emotions.

“There’s been anger, what’s going on? You know, news stories of women and children been tortured and raped and fathers having to stay behind and fight for their country,” Rudd said. “So there’s been anger, there’s been sadness, there’s been hope that I can raise awareness of what’s going on. And it’s got all sorts of emotions, really.”

Rudd is donating the money to two charities--International Fund for Animal Welfare and World Central Kitchen, which are both working in Ukraine.

Rudd posts daily about her journey on her Facebook page, and you can donate to her GoFundMe here.

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