A World War II veteran about to turn 100 years old in June has made it his quest to walk 100 miles to raise money for those suffering financially from the coronavirus pandemic.
Mickey Nelson, who turns 100 this June, is calling his quest “Walking to 100,” and chose the Salvation Army to receive the donations he receives from his endeavor, according to a statement from the Salvation Army.
Nelson said he was inspired by a British army veteran who did 100 laps in his garden to raise millions of pounds for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
“I know that people are struggling, either from the illness or a job loss from all the businesses shutting down,” said Nelson, who lives in Clarks Grove, Minnesota. “I just thought there was something I could do to help.”
Nelson has lived in Clarks Grove — a small city 90 miles away from Minneapolis — his entire life, with the exception of when he went off to fight in World War II.
He still lives in the same house he was born in back in 1920, according to the Salvation Army.
Nelson maintained tanks during World War II, owned a thriving bus business for 58 years, as well as a successful sand and gravel company.
Since mid-March, nearly 22 percent of Minnesotans, or 700,000 people, have filed for unemployment. The state’s unemployment rate skyrocketed to 8.1 percent in April, marking the highest its been since 1983.
Nelson selected the Salvation Army Northern Division to receive the proceeds he gets from his walk. The charity provides food and emergency assistance to North Dakota and Minnesota.
“We have been working very hard to help those in need since mid-March. Our staff is working overtime and our resources are being stretched like never before,” said Lt. Colonel Lonneal Richardson, commander of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “But this effort being made by Mickey is truly selfless, and we are grateful for and inspired by his efforts.”
Those who wish to donate to Mickey’s cause can do so by going to SalvationArmyNorth.org/mickey.