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Bike ride gives Jonah's Joy new journey

Mar. 23—Jim Higgins, a member of the Jonah's Joy Board in Crossville, has come up with a new idea to raise awareness of the organization and the children it serves.

Higgins and 15-year-old son Callahan will be cycling from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children call center in Lake Park, FL to Jonah's Joy Home for Children in Crossville.

The jourrney is almost 900 miles in total. Higgins' goal for the journey is to financially support the building of Jonah's Joy residential treatment home in Crossville.

Jonah's Joy is a home-like environment where adolescent girls from ages

12 to 17 years of age will have an opportunity to learn how to rebuild broken family systems through the use of a faith-based character-building level system, psycho-education, traditional therapies of individual, family and group, and nontraditional therapeutic approaches of farming and

horsemanship.

The development of the home on the already purchased

property has been underway and the completion of the project is

dependent on the support of individuals, business donors, and ongoing

fundraising events.

Higgins and Callahan will make the long journey as a trial run to map out

the course for others to join in 2025.

This bike-a-thon is expected to

take approximately two weeks to complete. They will be staying in some

local hotels along the route and doing some camping.

It is hoped that connections can be made with some churches or businesses along the route for possible food/shelter support, both this April and for the 2025 event.

Higgins worked in the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and as a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Crossville. He has had his

experiences with hurting children both in Cumberland County and

abroad.

"As an investigator I have fought for and helped to rescue children in the crime of child exploitation in the United States (Atlanta, GA), Afghanistan, and Haiti. I have seen these children struggle from facing trauma that they continue to internalize after the court cases and temporary assistance ends," Higgins said.

"I have seen heartache when loved ones minimize the trauma, and I have seen how children can never fully heal. Jonah's Joy is a home to not just bandage the wounds but a home that introduces God into their lives and provides mental health treatment as they begin transforming trauma to triumph."

Higgins and Callahan's journey can be followed on the Jonah's Joy Facebook paage and on their website, www.jonahsjoy.org. Jonah's Joy is actively seeking individuals who would like to train for

the 2025 event.

There will also be opportunities for bikers to do a

local bike-a-thon during that same two-week period by gaining pledges of

support for riding a set number of miles during that two-week period.