As you likely know, COVID-19 pushed many bartenders, chefs, and waiters to stay at home and lose out on some seriously needed paychecks. Two brothers, who faced the same situation, decided to walk across the United States to raise money for other restaurant workers!
Brothers Walk Through 11 States
Aiden and Louis Ardine, two brothers that worked as bartenders, deeply felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. They didn’t let it hold them down, however. Instead, they decided to walk across the United States to raise money for restaurant workers! It all started at the Asbury Park boardwalk in New Jersey. Together, the brothers worked with the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which has a fund for direct assistant to restaurant workers in need.
While it took just over 23 weeks, 162 days in total, and the Ardines brothers walked through 11 states, they finally did it! In total, they covered 12,000 feet in elevation changes and a whopping 80 degrees in temperature variation overall. Meanwhile, most importantly, the brothers raised an incredible $70,000 for the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation. Their story became such a source of inspiration that even organizations like Verizon helped donate to the cause!
Along the way, the Ardines brothers also learned quite a little bit about the country they call home and had more than a few adventurers!
Helping Restaurant Workers
The Ardines brothers both feel incredibly excited by the overwhelming support they received. “This would not have been possible without the help of a huge community of people, whether people were donating or helping us navigate our way across the United States.” Aiden said. “This was definitely an adventure founded in a very hopeful notion about America, and it confirmed our suspicion that people are inherently good and want to help their neighbors.”
When talking about the trip, brothers are reminded about the beautiful scenery and friendly strangers, as well as crazy encounters with the weather and wildlife. For example, one man spotted them in Iowa right when it was extremely hot. He passed them at first, then went back and gave them a cold Gatorade. In Nevada, a campground manager let the brothers stay there for free when he heard their story.
Then, in Utah, they had a crazy meeting with a wild bear! Aiden and Louis were passing a corner in one of the trails when they suddenly stood face to face with a black bear, just a few feet away from the animal. Still, their trip was worth it. Ardines finished the walk in San Francisco, where their supporters met them with cheers and hugs. Afterward, they flew home along with their mom.