Scott Williams was out for a bike ride on the Perkiomen trail when he had a big idea.
He knew that Liberty Ministries, a program for reaching those in prison and those recently released, was fundraising to open up a residential home for women. Scott is a resident of the Liberty House (for men) in Schwenksville, having been incarcerated previously. He said, “Liberty Ministries saved my life…it was a blessing that I came here. I had been thinking that since the ministry saved my life, the women needed the same chance. There are a lot of places for men to recover, but not very many places for women.”
Liberty is looking to open Ann’s House, a residential home for women named after the late Ann Angelichio, who dedicated 35 years of her life to counseling and teaching men and women in prison.
Scott decided he was going to start a fundraiser, find sponsors, and ride his bike from the Philadelphia Art Museum back to Schwenksville – a 35 mile ride. The event starts at 9:00 am on Saturday, May 28th, and Scott is hoping to get to Schwenksville by 12:30-1 pm at the latest. It takes place on Memorial Day weekend so the trails have the potential to be packed. Scott has three 10-minute breaks where people are going to meet him and give him fresh water.
When asked if he had been biking for very long, Scott said that while he rode a little bit when he was growing up, he has never done any long distance biking. Scott started training about 3 weeks ago. Scott works a full-time job with Liberty Thrift & Home Furnishings as a Truck Assistant and mostly trains on his days off. While he does more extensive training on Wednesday and Sundays, he makes sure to spend at least a half hour to an hour getting ready every day between work and dinner and doesn’t go a day without training.
Scott initially planned on riding on his own, but others decided to jump in and help. Once people heard about it, the event started to take off and get support from the ministry. Scott said that he has received plenty of support. Another resident, Gary, has been encouraging him – telling him to keep it up and that he is glad Scott is working towards a good cause. Scott also said, “It impresses me how the people at my job support me. They don’t even know me that well and they are just so supportive. I have so many people around me supporting me and it’s beyond my belief.”
Scott said that training has been more difficult than he originally thought it would be. However, he knows that it’s what he is supposed to do and that God will give him the strength to finish. Scott says that the bible verse pushing him through is Jeremiah 29:11, which reads “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Being on memorial day weekend, Scott will have plenty of time to rest afterwards. I asked Scott what he planned on doing after the ride. He said he wanted to continue biking – and that he would love to make this an annual event so that he can continue to help raise money for the ministry and Ann’s house. Scott kept re-iterating that there really needs to be a place that women can go when they get out of prison and that he wants to do something about it.
$250,000 is needed to establish and operate Ann’s House for one year. So far, Liberty Ministries has reached 66% of that goal. All donations are tax-deductible. [Liberty Ministries is a 501(C)(3)]. To sponsor Scott, visit here and click “get tickets” to set a donation amount. You can also donate by going to https://www.libertyministries.us/donations or mailing a check to: Liberty Ministries, 565 Main Street, Schwenksville PA 19473. In both cases, you should designate your gift for the “Women’s program”. For more information, please call (610) 287-5481.
When asked if he has any advice for anyone wanting to pursue their goals, Scott said to believe in yourself and to pray and ask God about it. “If it’s something He wants you to do, He’ll give you the power to do it like He’s done for me. It’s so important to me – it’s my way to give back after all the ministry has done for me. I’m not going to stop until I’ve accomplished my goal.”