MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Leo Soto from Miami woke up more than 1,000 miles away from South Florida. He traveled by plane and rental car to Mayfield, Kentucky where people there are still recovering following last week’s deadly storms.
“It all started this week on Monday, I realized when I saw the numbers of the casualties and the pictures of the sheer destruction,” Soto said about his decision to pack up and head to the middle of the destruction.READ MORE: SeaWorld Orlando Transfers 4 Manatee Calves To Ohio For Treatment
Soto flew into Nashville, rented a car and drove to Mayfield. On his way, he picked up donated flowers and got shops to bring some more stems: about 100,000 donated stems to be exact.
On Wednesday, Soto started a memorial wall outside the courthouse in Mayfield. Volunteers soon joined in.
The wall is covered with flowers and pictures of the lives lost.
“It gives people a little bit of hope that we can move on and start to heal,” Soto told CBS4’s Brooke Shafer on Thursday.READ MORE: 'Sick To My Stomach': Dollar Tree Fanatics Protest New $1.25 Prices
Soto knows how the impact a space like a memorial wall can have on a community in mourning. The man from Miami was the person behind the “Wall of Hope” in Surfside just feet away from the condo collapse site.
“I saw how important it was for the Surfside community. I know how important it is for people walking around… sort of aimlessly looking at destruction and they want somewhere to come together,” he said. “They want somewhere to begin to heal.”
After Surfside, Soto started the non-profit organization called “The Wall of Hope Foundation.” He said he plans to work with hospitals and help communities in need of healing. His trip to Mayfield is the first time he’s been called on the road since Surfside.
Soto has plans to put together a vigil for the people of Mayfield and bring some hope from South Florida to Kentucky.MORE NEWS: Add Over-The-Counter Medicine To List Of Growing Shortages
“I had a National Guardsman walk up to me and say, ‘I’ve spent these last four days looking at so much destruction and sadness and tragedy and this is the first time that there’s a little bit of hope,'” Soto said.