Austin Attorney Walks 500 Miles for the Poor
(L to R) Patrick Hall, Thomas Hall, Conor Hall, Maura Hall.Their final day's walk into Santiago coincided with a 6-inch downpour. They were drenched, but happy to have completed their walk along the Camino de Santiago.
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2014) – Thomas Hall, an attorney at Braun & Gresham, PLLC in Dripping Springs, Texas, walked the Camino de Santiago, an ancient Christian pilgrimage route in northern Spain, for 37 days to raise money for charity.
Hall’s goal is to raise $30,000 to be donated to Food For The Poor and two other charities. Inspired by Food For The Poor’s mission to bring clean water to those in need, Hall hopes to raise enough money to drill and install two water wells in Haiti.
“The fact that Mr. Hall has walked 500 miles to provide clean water for those who have to walk miles every day in search of water, which is often contaminated, is truly amazing,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “On behalf of the people we serve, we want to sincerely thank Mr. Hall for his generosity.”
Three of Hall’s four children, twin sons Patrick and Conor, age 25, and daughter Maura, 24, joined him on his 500-mile journey. They reunited in Pamplona, Spain, in time to celebrate his 60th birthday.
“Sometimes I would walk with each of my children individually, sometimes the four of us would walk together, and sometimes I needed to walk alone instead of trying to keep up with younger legs,” wrote Hall, who said there is no substitute for that kind of one-on-one time.
“Together we crossed the Alto del Perdon Mountain Range, where a series of iconic iron monuments of medieval pilgrims stand,” wrote Hall on his website. “According to legend, pilgrims who made it this far were assured of their spiritual health in the event of death.”
Conor, a cancer survivor, commemorated the journey by taking a photo next to one of the iron figurines holding a sign that read, “Outliving it!”
“Legend says that when the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was being built, pilgrims were asked to contribute by bringing a stone,” wrote Hall, who carried a piece of brown sandstone with a white stripe from the southern shore of Lake Superior, where he grew up. “The tradition is to throw a stone here, brought from the pilgrim's place of origin, symbolizing what the pilgrim leaves behind to prepare for rebirth on the last stage of the Camino.
“Before I left for Spain, I sent out an email with a picture of a stone to family, friends, donors and supporters,” wrote Hall. “Many people added their prayers and intentions to this token. I carried it for all, and laid it down at Cruz de Ferro on your behalf.”
On October 15, Hall completed his 500-mile walk. His pilgrim passport was stamped each day at the hostels where he stayed, and the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago, Spain, confirmed Hall completed the route by issuing a certificate of completion.
Hall also carried a small portion of the cremated remains of his friend, Russell Schreiber, who died of cancer in May. At sunset, Hall released Schreiber's ashes into the sea at Ara Solis, the altar to the sun, to give thanks and mark the end of his pilgrimage.
To help Hall reach his fundraising goal to bring water to those in need, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/caminowalkathon to make a secure donation.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
Jennifer Leigh Oates
Food For The Poor
Public Relations Associate
954-427-2222 x 6054