For his 100th birthday, a World War II veteran is walking 100 miles to raise money for coronavirus relief

Mickey Nelson is walking 100 miles for his centenarian birthday to raise money for The Salvation Army.

Mickey Nelson, 99, walks 100 miles through his small town of Clarks Grove in an initiative he has called “Walking 100.”

Nelson, who turns 100 on June 27, said he was inspired to walk to raise money for coronavirus relief after reading the story about war veterans. Tom moore who raised over $ 37.4 million by walking 100 laps around his garden.

Instead of walking laps, Nelson is walking miles to celebrate his 100th birthday. Since starting his walk in May, Nelson has raised more than $ 42,000, all of which will go to the Salvation Army’s food and emergency programs.

“During the depression years, they had soup lines and other ways that people could get food and that caught my eye because I was lucky to always have food on the table,” Nelson told CNN.

“When it all happened, that’s what I thought: There are people who are hungry and I can do something about it.”

More than 700,000 Minnesota and North Dakota residents, about 20% of the workforce, have applied for unemployment since the start of the pandemic, according to The Salvation Army. About 40% of those who recently lost their jobs are now looking for food banks for the first time to find ways to feed their families.

“The number of people we see in need across the country is off the charts,” Salvation Army executive development director Brian Molohon told CNN.

“We’ve seen a 900% increase in demand for people with food insecurity issues in many of our places. So when I look at the money he’s raising, oh man, oh man. It’s exciting to think of the joy and hope of make him bring thousands of people. “

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Nelson, a Clarks Grove resident his entire life, is also struggling on his own. He is isolating himself from his wife, who is quarantined alone in a nursing home that she is not allowed to visit.

For now, the veteran hopes to help feed as many people as possible while reminding the world that we are all in this together.

“I think the entire United States, Democrat and Republican, should be united to help the less fortunate among us,” said Nelson. “We are the United States of America and that is why my generation fought.”

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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