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Avila Beach man, dog finish cross-country trek raising money for Central Coast non-profit

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 01, 2020

An Avila Beach man and his dog traveled through 30 states in an Airstream trailer to raise money for a Central Coast non-profit.

Joe O'Connor is raising money for the non-profit CASA, which helps abused and neglected children.

KSBY first brought you their story back in July, when O'Connor and his 2-year-old Aussie-doodle, Wally's trek began. O'Connor and Wally made it back to the Central Coast on Thursday, Oct. 1.

O'Connor says that during the last week of their journey on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they would match all the donations they received.

"A couple of days ago two elderly couples actually gave me $20 each and said 'hey, this is for the kids.' I have lots of stories like that," said O'Connor.

"I've actually volunteered and have children that I advocate for in the court of law. They are just like every other kid out there. They've just been taken out of their home because they are abused and we are there to support them, to advocate for them." said O'Connor. "They just haven't had the opportunities that other kids have had. They just need to be loved and have some exposure, they are just like every other person."

O'Connor says he has received a lot of support from people whether it be care packages or phone calls.

When asked about the goal of the CASA foundation O'Connor said, "to have reunification with a parent if possible, if not with a family member."

The funds being raised for CASA are to help train volunteers and the programs for the kids.

I really hope that people put their energy into donating some money, and if they don't want to do that, then donate time and learn about CASA," said O'Connor.

You can look at the pair's travels on both Facebook and Instagram at "Wally Travels for Kids".

To learn more about CASA, visit this website.