Shirley Ford and her 16-year-old daughter, Ivy, had tickets to the memorial, but no way to get there or a place to stay.
Someone responded to a last-minute plea posted on Craigslist and gave the Fords airline tickets.
Then, once in L.A., a stranger invited them to stay at her home. Word of their unusual trip spread through the crowd of Jackson fans.
"It was a crazy feeling, being noticed like that. But just to be there and just... oh my God. And all the people that helped us, it was a wonderful thing," said Ivy Ford.
"It was surreal. I mean it was like... I mean we just looked at each other and said 'I can't believe we're in here.' I mean we just cried. We cried 90 percent of the time we were in there," said Shirley Ford.
The Fords say it is a day they will never forget.