Only a few years ago Steve Spear worked a regular 9 to 5 job like most people living in America. Now he runs marathons to provide clean water for people in Africa.
After spending the late 80’s and early 90’s working as an exceptional customer service representative for McMaid Inc., Steve gave up his position to pursue his passion for service to God and fellow man by becoming a full-time staff member and West Chicago Campus Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. Though he was loved by his coworkers, everyone knew Steve’s desire to help suffering individuals was leading him on a mission of service.
Even while employed in the customer service department at Mcmaid Inc, Steve always felt the need to serve, which eventually led him to his current endeavor—running 120 marathons (an average of one per day), to provide clean water to people in South Africa. In dramatic fashion, Steve will cover the distance from New York to Los Angeles over a period of 4-5 months and if completed, his efforts will successfully raise over 1.5 million dollars for the World Vision Water Project. Those associated with The World Vision Water Project expect the funds raised will permanently provide clean water for more than 30,000 residents of South Africa.
Interestingly enough, Steve Spear does not come from a running background. More than 30 years ago a friend encouraged him to run his first 10k race (a little over 6 miles), and he detested the experience so much that he took 25 years off from running. It was World Vision, not a friend, who encouraged Steve to pick up his running shoes the next time. In 2007 Steve began training to run the Chicago Marathon with Team World Vision, which he successfully completed that year. The camaraderie Steve felt with the other World Vision runners coupled with the funds they raised inspired him to do more marathons to help others. In 2010, Steve felt the urge to complete a run across the United States, and his marathon plan for The World Vision Water Project was born.
It’s true Steve Spears is the man running the lengthy race across America, but he can’t do it alone. You can make a donation to the World Vision Water Project and contribute to the cause. The fundraising goal is $1.5 million, and though none of us can provide that on our own, a small donation of $50 can ensure a person in South Africa receives clean water for the rest of their life. You can also register to run with Steve and be more actively engaged in the project. Steve will be passing through the area this weekend. For more information on Steve’s story and how you can contribute visit the “Running for Water” FB page.