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The Mighty Eagles of Wilson get Moving

Sometimes it takes only a single person to mobilize a community to get moving. Inspired by the First Lady’s Let’s Move Faith & Communities initiative, Candy Taylor of the New Christian Food Pantry and Child Development Center rallied members of the low-income community she serves to form a walking group.

While providing meals and clothing to people in Wilson County, she realized that community members often don’t have the resources, safe environments, or the time necessary to stay physically active. So Candy started a walking group, calling them the Mighty Eagles of Wilson to “let the kids know they have the potential to soar above the clouds.” Becoming a group has provided kids and their parents an opportunity to practice fitness habits once a week – with the added benefit of spending quality time with each other. The Mighty Eagles boast 430 walkers, comprised mostly of children and their parents, and walked 1,186 miles in less than two months!

The Mighty Eagles meet regularly on Saturday mornings at a local community resource center. They walk around the surrounding neighborhoods for one to two hours, socializing with one another and enjoying the weather. Afterward they report their miles walked to Candy, who tracks the group’s progress. In celebration of their success, the Mighty Eagles, in partnership with the Wilson County Department of Social Services, recently hosted a community-wide walking event at the Wilson County mall. Wilson residents of all generations gathered together and participated in a variety of physical activities, including jumping rope, hula hoop, and even a baby crawling contest. “We just want everyone moving,” said Becky Stottlemyre, faith connections program coordinator with the Wilson County Department of Social Services. “It’s a day of motion.”

At the culmination of the event, the sentiment was that this was just the beginning. As Candy said, “We’re not through yet — the Mighty Eagles are still moving!”