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MN Skateboarder Completes Journey Across New Zealand To Combat Human Trafficking In His Native Vietnam

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man on a mission to skateboard from one end of New Zealand to the other to raise money for an important cause crossed the finish line Thursday night.

John Atticks O'Toole began his journey back in early March. Roughly two months and more than 1,000 miles later Atticks O'Toole skated into Cape Reigna at 7 p.m. local time Thursday.

John Addicks O'toole journey
(credit: CBS)

He was adopted by his Minnesota family in 1999 and used this skateboarding mission to raise money to help prevent human trafficking in Vietnam.

His goal was to raise $22,500 for the Catalyst Foundation – a nonprofit working in some of the most rural parts of Vietnam to provide kids and their families with food, water, education and more. He ended up surpassing his goal of raising more than $35,000 for the non-profit.

RELATED: Minnesota Man Skateboarding Across New Zealand To Combat Human Trafficking In His Native Vietnam

Atticks O'Toole said completing this journey has been humbling.

"Sometimes you wake up and you want to cry like, 'Ugh, I have 50 kilometers to do today and I just can't even feel my legs,'" he said.

He said what got him through each day was his mission to help others.

John Addicks O'Toole
(credit: John Addicks O'Toole via Instagram)

"Just reminding myself why I'm doing it," he said. "Reminding myself I'm the master of my own fate. Like I have the privilege of being the master of my own fate and any situation that I'm in out here I put myself in because I love it and because I have a reason for it."

The Catalyst Foundation just had its first distribution with the donated money. The nonprofit's founder said the money will go a long way to help people in need.

"It costs us $1,200 a month to feed 55 families," she said. "So [with] this money, we'll be able to feed our families for almost two years."


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