In an act of brotherly love, 28-year-old Londrelle Hall and 29-year-old Ray Mills decided to trek 550 miles—from Atlanta to Ferguson, Mo.—to visit the memorial site of Michael Brown. The catch? The two made the journey on foot.
Averaging 35 miles per day, it took almost three weeks for the two runners to reach their destination, according to Think Progress. Once they arrived, they were escorted by locals to the memorial, where both men were overcome with emotion.
“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, a devoted runner, was inspired to make the pilgrimage because running is how he copes with his personal problems. He saw this as a way to raise awareness and grapple with the problems of the world.
“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.”
The duo also hoped to raise money to donate to Brown’s family as well as John Crawford, the 22-year-old Ohio man who was killed by police in Walmart, and Charles Smith, the 29-year old Georgia man who was killed by police after he was already handcuffed. Hall and Mills started a GoFundMe.com campaign, hoping to raise $1 million. However, the two have only raised $2,362 to date.
Though short of their fundraising goal, neither Hall or Mills will be deterred. They hope to make regular trips to Ferguson in the coming weeks to aid the community. The two have also been talking about starting an afterschool program for minority youth.
“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.”