From helping to found the FarmHouse chapter to throwing the javelin at his alma mater, Auburn University, to riding his bike from North Carolina to Alabama to raise money for the hungry, to ending up on the “Tonight Show,” Darryl has always been a go-getter.
“I was working doing art in a cubical and I had all these things I wanted to do,” says Darryl, who graduated with a degree in visual art.
“All the ladies in the church had said I should be a pastor, so I finally asked God if I could use more of my talents by becoming a pastor and he said, ‘Duh!’ Now it’s been 45 years.”
“In 1977 there was an earthquake in Guatemala where nearly 40,000 people died in a 90-second quake. I went on a trip rebuilding houses and orphanages and I was amazed at how full of faith these people were. I learned so much from them and when I got back I said I was going to raise $1 million for world hunger.”
And it all started in Alamance County in 1979 with The Crop Walk, a fundraiser to bring awareness to world hunger.
“The Crop Walk developed to where 3,000 people and raised $100,000 in just one afternoon,” he said.
And during his more than four decades of service, he has been able to set up a homeless shelter/kitchen/crisis center and raise, not $1 but, $2 million for world hunger with many people from the community helping. He’s expanded his ministry to reflect his humorous personality including doing all his own graphical work—from fundraiser t-shirts to his website.
“I think my driving force has always been that it starts with love inside,” he says. “From my faith perspective, God is love, but I don’t try to limit God or put him in a box.”
Spreading that love and locating similar people and organizations is what inspired his 2017 World Tour, which took him to 4 continents, 12 nations and 36 cities in a short 63 days. The premise? Recognize everyday people for their ordinary service.
“It taught me people are very similar in their desires and willingness to serve others no matter the culture, language or their background”
Planning a global trip was no easy feat—it took Darryl two years of calling local fire departments, mayor offices and churches, and teaming up with Lions Clubs International, an organization with locals virtually everywhere around the world made up of 1.4 million men and women who believe kindness and service matter—a perfect match for Darryl.
“I have a feeling that most people around the world are like me—just want to wake up in the morning, smell the air, work a job, serve their community, spend time with kids and grandkids, sip some tea, relax and go to bed,” he says. “So I thought, what I’ll do is go around the world to thank, entertain, inspire and give citizens awards. Eventually, I did 156 presentations.”
Those presentations were to give citizens who deserved to be recognized for their service—ranging from giving a child a teddy bear to helping refugees—the “Link the World with Love through Service” award, which was conceptualized and designed by Darryl. It was a global extension of his effort each day to uncover the beauty in people.
To hear dozens of stories of people from all different cultures and backgrounds was possible all because of his desire to give back.
“It taught me people are very similar in their desires and willingness to serve others no matter the culture, language or their background,” he says.
Through his travels he even met up again with his doppelganger: Daryl R. Peebles of Tazmania. The duo has 53 commonalities, including dressing up and talking in accents to make people laugh, and appeared on Jay Leno together.
While not everyone he met was his twin, he still felt impacted by each and every soul.
“It was amazing to see the emotion in many people who were so touched to learn that we went to such efforts to go around the world to honor them for their extraordinary service.”
Learn more about Darryl and his World Tour at darrylpeebles.com.