*Michael Brown’s memory proved to be the motivator as two men traveled 550 miles by foot from Atlanta to the slain teen’s memorial in Ferguson, Mo.
The folks at Think Progress note that it took almost three weeks for 28-year-old Londrelle Hall and 29-year-old Ray Mills to make the trek. The men, who were escorted by locals to the memorial when they arrived, averaged 35 miles per day in their journey as they voiced how important it was to reach their destination.
“When I got here, I broke down and cried because I was in his shoes and felt the same pain that he would feel and that the community felt,” Hall told Think Progress. “I know there’s a lot of tension, and I can just feel the energy here, and my soul cried out.”
Hall’s motivation for making the trip stemmed from raising awareness as well as dealing with the problems of world. The devoted runner uses running to cope with his own personal problems, according to Think Progress.
For Mills, the sight of Brown’s memorial and the history behind it provided more than enough fuel to complete the trip.
“While we’re doing it, there’s no way to expect how you would feel until you’re actually here,” Mills said. “When I arrived, it was breathtaking. This young man was killed here coming from a store.”
Overall, Mills and Hall hoped to raise $1 million through a GoFundMe.com campaign they started to donate to Brown’s family as well as raise awareness of 22-year old John Crawford III, who was killed by police in a Walmart and Charles Smith, a 29-year-old Georgia man who was killed by police after he was handcuffed. To date, the men have only raised $2,362 to date.
Despite not reaching their fundraising goal, Think Progress mentioned that Mill and Hall are still determined to make a difference with discussion involving the creation of an afterschool program for minority youth, in addition to hopes of making regular trips to Ferguson in the coming weeks to aid the community.
“We want to come back after Thanksgiving routinely, as time goes on,” Mills said. “After the media’s packed up and gone, the community [will] still have issues. We don’t want to forget that.”