Teen biking across country stops in Greeneville, Tenn.
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - A 13-year-old boy is biking across the country to raise money and awareness for people who don't have clean water.
He started in California and is making his way to South Carolina.
This weekend he stopped in Greeneville, Tenn.
His name is Scotty Parker.
His goal is to raise $500,000 in eight weeks by making the cross country trip.
This isn't the first time he's dedicated his time to a good cause.
"When I was 7-years-old, I saw these pictures of kids drinking this terribly dirty water, and that really hurt my heart-- knowing that every day, over 4,000 children under the age of 5 die because of something as simple as water." Scotty recalled.
That's when Scotty decided to ask his friends and family to donate money to clean water causes for his 8th birthday. Instead of getting him gifts-- he raised more than $600.
"That's when I realized, as a kid, I can make a difference. I can help these people. And $618 as an 8-year-old, I was like, 'holy cow, that's a lot of money.' But that's not enough, there's still people out there with dirty water." He explained.
That's when he came up with the idea to ride across his home state of South Carolina to raise money.
Now, three years later, his devotion to helping others has grown into a cross country bike trip.
"We've raised about $445,000 so far and we have a $40,000 match right now. So, if we finish that $40,000 match, we'll be at $520,000-- so over our goal." Said Scotty.
His family members are bursting with pride for Scotty.
He's even inspired his younger sisters to follow in his footsteps.
"Just don't dismiss your kids. Because a lot of times they have bigger dreams than we can. Because we put ourselves in a box and think about the things that could go wrong, or the things that might keep us from achieving our dreams, but kids don't. They think they can do anything, and if you just let them go you never know what may happen." Explained Scotty's mom, Pam Parker.
"We think it's really awesome and it's very inspiring to know that a kid that was my age rode his bike across the state to give people clean water, and now he's riding his bike across the country to give people clean water." Exclaimed Scotty's younger sister, Lily Parker.
Scotty has 300 more miles to go until he reaches his final destination: Charleston, South Carolina.
"Looking back over the days, it's flown by. This trip, I felt like it was going to be a lot harder, and a lot longer than it has been, so I'm happy to be close to home." Scotty concluded.
If you would like to donate to Scotty's mission or learn more about him, visit his website Scotty's Ride for Water.