LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — They call him Sargent Pushup. The army veteran traveling across the country to raise one million dollars for food-insecure children. He’s doing so by doing one million pushups.
As he was raising money with the Arkansas Food Bank this week, we caught up with the vet.
Sgt. Pushup plans to do 30,000 pushups between November 1st and Thanksgiving. For each pushup he does, he is asking for a dollar to be donated to the Arkansas Foodbank.
“I got work to do. We’ve got to take care of these children,” Sgt. Pushup urged.
Patrick Parker created his alter ego a few years ago back in Baltimore, his hometown. A Chick-Fil-A manager saw Patrick Parker give a meal to a hungry homeless person.
That manager, inspired by the act, said he’d give a free sandwich coupon to Parker to give away for every 10 pushups he did. Three hours and 2,300 pushups later, Parker learned just what he was capable of.
He sold his car, went on the road, and for about the next five years to now, he’s put himself in the shoes of hungry children. His home is his van, his shower at truck stops, his meals sometimes stretched over several days.
“If I can sacrifice my body, yes, it hurts. If I can sacrifice some time. Yes, I would like to do other things, but I don’t have children, so all those 75 million children, guess what? You’ve got an uncle, Uncle Sgt. Pushup”, Sgt. Pushup said.
Sgt Pushup wants to raise a million dollars by December 31. His health and his transportation have had their ups and down, but so far this year he’s raised enough for 675,000 meals. At the Arkansas Food Bank, CEO Brian Burton said one dollar can feed five people.
“They are moved by his compassion. His commitment,” Burton said. “People of all walks of life can come together and solve a solvable problem which is hunger in our community.”
Between Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving, Burton believes this is a perfect time for those who are thankful or know someone who has served to donate in their honor.
“When I was in Iraq, I prepared my body to die for my fellow soldier, but now my body, I’m preparing it to die for somebody’s child because it’s not just your child it’s everybody’s child,” Sgt. Pushup said.
After serving his country in Iraq, Patrick Parker was inspired by the words of John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Sgt. Pushup has his own outstanding spin. He said, “If I can show what one person can do, then why can’t we all do this?”
He also has programs for child bullying and, during the pandemic, COVID education. Click here to donate to the Arkansas Foodbank through his cause.