SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – People have heard of Lewis and Clark, but how about Louis and Aiden Ardine? The two brothers are in their 20s and have been walking from their hometown of Asbury Park, New Jersey to San Francisco, California.
They found themselves in Salem, Ohio Friday afternoon during their journey and stopped by NAPA Auto Parts for a hot dog and root beer during the store’s customer appreciation party.
So why are they walking that far? The answer is simple – for charity. The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and the Ardine brothers are walking to raise money for those affected.
The adventurous duo used to be bartenders and left their jobs last fall because of the pandemic.
“We had a crazy idea that we could help a lot of people so we’re raising money for Restaurant Workers Community Foundation,” Aiden said during a stop in Salem.
They’ve raised $20,000 so far and people can donate online at unmutedstories.org/donate or on Facebook and Instagram @ardinesxamerica.
The brothers said the journey has been awesome so far, getting to meet all kinds of people who are willing to feed them, let them sleep in their yard, or give them something to help them on their journey. It’s restored their faith and been a gratifying experience.
“We have a little stove, so we cook with that,” Louis said. “We eat at restaurants. Part of this whole mission is to raise awareness for restaurants so part of that is visiting local establishments, talking with people who work there and putting them up on social media as well.”
As far as sleeping, they camp, stay in hotels or motels, or stay in people’s homes if the opportunity presents itself.
The brothers come from a family of people working in the service industry and ask that people donate, but if they can’t, their request is simple, “Be nice to each other. Be kind.”