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Hanson Ready to Hit the Road!
By Rennie Dyball

Originally posted Wednesday July 16, 2008 08:00 AM EDT

Hanson is taking to the road this fall in support of their album The Walk – and they're going to do just that with fans.

Before each of their 35 tour stops (beginning Sept. 7 in Portland, Ore.) on the "Walk Around The World Tour," the band will continue their tradition of taking a barefoot, one-mile walk with fans with the goal of walking 'around the world,' or 24,902 miles, to raise awareness about poverty and AIDS in Africa.

Hanson's takethewalk.net campaign also gives fans a chance to organize their own walks. The band plans to donate $ 1 per mile walked to fight poverty in Africa, where their album – which dropped last year – was partially recorded.

The first single, "Great Divide," features children from Mozambique and South Africa.

"Africa has become a bigger and bigger part of our lives with this album," Zac Hanson tells PEOPLE. (The band visited last year to provide TOMS shoes for children in need). "When you look at what AIDS is doing to families over there and think about how our little son is never going to deal with those kinds of struggles, it helps you realize how important it is to give these people the ability to help themselves."