Armand Young walked through Columbiana County on Thursday, much like he’s walked through hundreds of communities on his 7,000-mile trip across the country and back.
The California man on Thursday walked through Minerva gathering signatures.
“Literally, God put it in my heart,” Young said. “Three days later, I started walking. Got rid of everything I owned and didn’t look back.”
His goal is to gather more than 1 million signatures. But it’s not for a political cause or even for himself.
“Every signature on here is a promise you’ll do an act of kindness in the next 24 hours or pay it forward,” Young said. “In honor of someone who died in 9/11 or a fallen soldier.”
He asks anyone he meets to sign. So far, he’s gathered more than 550,000 names.
Young previously walked from his hometown in San Diego to Ground Zero in New York City. Young waves at everyone he passes on his trip. Curious onlookers often turn their cars around.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is America is a great place,” he said. “Everybody cares.”
Some, he said, even let him stay at their home for a night’s rest.
“To me, I felt that’s an act of kindness,” said Tammee Tiller, who opened her home to Young. “Anybody should do it. For what he’s doing, I could open my home.”
Young said he’s still about one year away from reaching his home. And that’s if he walks 10 miles a day.
In the meantime, one thing keeps him going: “To make this world a better place.”