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Trail Life USA promotes ‘healing wave’ for July 4 weekend

Leaders of the Christian youth organization Trail Life USA are challenging Americans to help create a “healing wave” through July 4 weekend cookouts.

“Jesus taught us to love one another,” CEO Mark Hancock said. “Now more than ever, America needs to put love into action. The heart and soul of our nation could be at stake. Whatever your social position, religious beliefs or political leanings, we’re suggesting you invite a neighbor who is different from you to join your July Fourth cookout and share a hamburger or hotdog in friendship.”

The event — which follows Trail Life USA’s first-ever National Backyard Campout in April and Backyard Movie Night in May, when more than 12,000 families across all 50 states took part in “virtual” campouts at home — comes as lockdown restrictions are being eased in many parts of the country, giving the green light to small gatherings that follow social-distancing guidelines.

READ: National Guard tried to ban Trail Life

“We’re inviting families across all 50 states to turn this event into a new ‘American revolution’ of respect and kindness, reaching out to neighbors and others outside their family and usual social circle and seeking a meaningful, affirming dialog with someone different from themselves,” Hancock said.

Participants will be able to link up with other families across the nation via a secure online portal, sharing videos and photos of their own celebrations. Live-streamed speakers will include Edward Graham, the grandson of the late evangelist Billy Graham.

“We need to stop and remind ourselves why this nation, in spite of its warts, is still the best place in the world to live,” Hancock said. Any family can register for the backyard virtual event at Trail Life USA’s website (www.TrailLifeUSA.com/backyard), where they’ll find camping tips, outdoor recipes and cooking ideas.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice