fbpx
The 23rd New Life Family Walkathon in the United States

The 23rd New Life Family Walkathon in the United States

Giving Hope to 7 Billion People With a Smile and a Loving Heart!

That was the slogan for the relay of walkathons hosted by the International WeLoveU Foundation in Brazil, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea and now here in the United States. The New Life Family Walkathon that Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah has organized annually for the past two decades in Seoul is now taking place in multiple countries around the world. Each one bearing the same purpose in mind: to console those seriously affected by the devastating climate disasters in Mozambique.

Earlier this year, two cyclones—Idai and Kenneth—slammed the country in Southern Africa back to back, leaving it to put itself back together during this humanitarian crisis. It’s reported that subsequent flooding destroyed $1 billion of infrastructure. On top of the country’s fragile framework and people’s lives turned upside, animals are also suffering as a result of these disasters.

>> What happened in Mozambique?

Saddened by the news of climate disaster, Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah dedicated the 23rd New Life Family Walkathon in the United States to help those in Mozambique. Together, our steps can translate to love, life, and harmony to those undergoing present difficulties.

We Are Here for You, Mozambique!

On the bright morning of Sunday, July 28, 2019, approximately 2,500 participants checked in, ready to walk! Activity booths with interactive and fun games made it easy for everyone to learn about the 17 Global Goals including a WeLoveU original comic about how to implement the SDGs in daily lives. In addition to supporting Mozambique, WeLoveU launched the #AIMfortheGoals campaign to raise awareness about the SDGs that were established to protect our planet.  

Before the opening address, there was time for a couple of performances by the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers. There were two dance pieces: one dedicated to Mozambique and another one fostering camaraderie to take care of our world together. The last performance was the WeLoveU theme song.

A Special Spotlight on Our Speakers

Right when the guest speakers took the stage, everyone was in for a special surprise visit by U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district—Donald Payne Jr. Given the Congressman’s tight schedule before the August recess, everyone from the President of WeLoveU to the guest speakers and all 2,500 guests were honored to have an opportunity to hear from the U.S. Representative. Not to mention, Liberty State Park in Jersey City where this year’s walkathon was held is included in Congressman Donald Payne Jr.’s district!

The President of the WeLoveU Foundation then took to the podium after Congressman Donald Payne Jr.’s surprise visit. His introductory message reminded all participants of Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah’s message that we are one family living in a big home called ‘Earth.’ 

Therefore, as a global family, we must encourage and serve one another with the heart of a mother. This was the perfect introduction for the Ambassador of Mozambique Carlos Dos Santos followed by UN DGC Representative Felipe Queipo. 

“It’s a sense of joy and appreciation for the kind of solidarity to say, ‘Mozambique and Mozambicans, you are far away, but we are with you. We want to support you; we want to help you.'” – Ambassador Carlos Dos Santos

The next following speakers that the WeLoveU Foundation had a privilege to have speak at the 23rd New Life Family Walkathon was Climate Reality Project Leader Tim Guinee, and Lindsey Prowse from the French-American Chamber of Commerce. The more each speaker presented about the effects of climate change, the importance of an individuals role in tackling it, and so on, the moral of the volunteers were heightened as they anticipated to walk for such a meaningful cause.

One, Two, Three—Let’s Walk!

By the early afternoon, all 2,500 participants comprised of family, friends and local officials met at the starting line. On the count of three, everyone began taking their steps one by one in support of Mozambique.

To stay hydrated all-day long, all who registered received a glass water bottle. A water sponsor provided free water and so volunteers were able to refill their bottles as much as they needed. Not only that, through the glass water bottles, WeLoveU and its participants are reducing the use of plastic, which is good for us and our planet. In addition, a majority—if not all—carpooled for this event. Having fewer cars on the road means carbon emissions are reduced and our air quality improves.

Let us know below if you’re in WeLoveU’s photo gallery! 

 It was a pleasant afternoon across from the New York City skyline. Families and friends had opportunities to catch up and talk together while participating in a wonderful cause. Through the volunteers efforts, WeLoveU hopes those in Mozambique can feel refreshed and comforted knowing there are people supporting them from across the globe.

 

WeLoveU Foundation Volunteers Join Clean Beaches Week in Connecticut

WeLoveU Foundation Volunteers Join Clean Beaches Week in Connecticut

Volunteers Celebrating Clean Beaches Week in Connecticut

Clean Beaches Week (July 1-7) is dedicated to celebrating our beaches by ensuring they remain clean and safe for the generations to come. Around 130 WeLoveU Foundation volunteers from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts came together to organize a cleanup at Hammonasset Beach State Park on Sunday, July 7, 2019. This volunteer service is in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Hammonasset Beach State Park is Connecticut’s largest shoreline park spanning over two-miles of beach. With Independence Day just three days prior, the volunteers anticipated a heavier flow of trash. That’s because visiting beaches is one of the most popular ways to celebrate the 4th of July. In total, the WeLoveU volunteers collected 50 bags worth of trash!

I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to come out here. It’s very rare that we have a group this size, so we are very happy to have you. We are very thrilled that you picked our location to provide a hand.

Bill Mattioli

Hammonasset State Park Supervisor

Hammonasset State Beach Park

In addition to the cleanup, attention-grabbing educational panels were on display. It described different activities the WeLoveU Foundation carries out that align with the Sustainable Development Goals. On top of that, many came to understand the harmful effects litter has on our planet and ways to counter it in their daily lives.

Overall, it was a great way for the community to ask questions and be acquainted with the WeLoveU Foundation. Not to mention, a good opportunity to learn about the Global Goals set in place to transform our planet for good by 2030. 

Through the help of many WeLoveU volunteers, Hammonasset Beach was cleaned and ready to receive the next batch of visitors. Also, for many on the beach, it was their first time learning about the works of the WeLoveU Foundation and its different initiatives including the Clean WORLD Movement, which this cleanup effort falls under. 

Planting 30,000 Marsh Grass Plants in Sunset Cove Park

Planting 30,000 Marsh Grass Plants in Sunset Cove Park

Marsh Grass Planting in Queen’s Wetland—Sunset Cove Park

Sunset Cove Park in Jamaica Bay, Queens is undergoing a transformation one marsh plug at a time. The urban wetlands received extra attention this weekend when 140 WeLoveU Foundation volunteers planted 30,000 plugs of marsh grass in partnership with the American Littoral Society on Sunday, June 30, 2019.

Planting marsh grass benefits the environment in many ways. It improves the water quality by absorbing pollutants, stormwater retention, and adds nutrients to the Bay Area. This part of NYC remained untouched for two decades. However, after Superstorm Sandy slammed the tri-state area in 2012, plans to restore Jamaica Bay began. The wetlands restoration project started in 2014 and was completed in June 2019.

Visit by New York State Senator

Before volunteers could start planting marsh plugs, they received a special visit from Senator Joe Addabbo. The Senator’s district includes Sunset Cove Park that’s part of Broad Channel, a neighborhood in the borough of Queens. It is the only inhabited island in Jamaica Bay. Senator Addabbo’s encouraging message was a great way to kick-start the marsh planting activity

“Jamaica Bay is a jewel to me. Thank you so much for taking care of it. Not many people would be here on a Sunday morning. You could have been anywhere else.”

Senator Joe Addabbo

After the Senator’s visit, Don Ripe from the American Littoral Society explained a few pointers the volunteers should keep in mind. For many, if not all, it was their first time participating in this kind of activity. Corporate volunteers from SMBC and IBM also joined the WeLoveU Foundation.

This is my first time volunteering with this group. I’m enjoying my time here. To the Chairwoman, I would like to say thank you. There is no better satisfaction than helping the community and taking action.

Pepe, IBM Corporate Volunteer

On Your Marks, Get Set, Plant!

Despite the hot weather, volunteers carried the cartridges of marsh from one distance to another. One by one, teams began digging holes deep enough to bury the roots. It involved a lot of ‘elbow grease’ as it’s said, on behalf of the volunteers. 

Great Results Brought Forth From Unity

In just three hours, the group of 140 volunteers finished planting 30,000 marsh plugs of grass! Great things can be accomplished when everyone works together having the same goal in mind. Marsh grass planting in Sunset Cove Park is just one example of how the WeLoveU Foundation works to fulfill the Clean WORLD MovementAt the same time, the volunteers terrific efforts align to fulfill Global Goals #14 and #15—Life Below Water and Life on Land. 

WeLoveU Volunteers Tree Planting Completes Reforestation Project

WeLoveU Volunteers Tree Planting Completes Reforestation Project

Rollin’ Up Our Sleeves For Tree Planting

Mercer County Park Commission received well over 80 volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation on Sunday, June 23, 2019. The special occasion? Tree planting! The WeLoveU Foundation volunteers helped  complete the Stony Brook reforestation project by planting the remaining 300 trees.

Stony Brook is located in Rosedale Park in Pennington, NJ. Due to heavy rainfall in spring and summer, Stony Brook experiences flooding that causes damage to the surrounding areas. Within in the reforestation plan, the Mercer County Park Commission aimed to plant 2,500 trees. The WeLoveU Foundation volunteers are glad to participate and help them meet their goal. 

The work that we do here at the Mercer County Parks cannot be done without the help of volunteers. I really thank the WeLoveU Foundation for coming out today and help in completing this project.

Alex Rivera, Land Steward of the Merer County Park Commission

Benefits Behind Tree Planting

Taking an in-depth look behind planting trees reveals great benefits for the environment. For starters, they will help soak up rainwater, which reduces flooding, erosion and pollution in our waterways. The newly planted trees contribute for our well-being by giving off oxygen that we need to breathe. Additionally, they provide animals like birds, for instance, food, protection, and a place to call home. 

First things first, the large group of volunteers spread out across the park. They began digging into the soil with shovels in order to have enough space to plant the trees. Through their efforts, volunteers helped bring new life to the floodplains and refreshed the ecosystems! This volunteer service activity is part of WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD Movement. 

After the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers finished planting 300 trees, they stayed a bit longer at the park for a BBQ! Wrapping up a great day with friends and family in the name of environmental protection.

State Rep Jared Solomon Joins WeLoveU Castor Avenue Cleanup

State Rep Jared Solomon Joins WeLoveU Castor Avenue Cleanup

Working Together for A Cleaner World

The International WeLoveU Foundation celebrated Father’s Day with a spin! On Sunday, June 16, 2019, Castor Avenue was abuzz with more than fifty volunteers. The group met to clean Castor Avenue in partnership with State Representative Jared Solomon. The 202nd district where Castor Avenue is located is one of the busiest streets. This collective effort is part of WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD Movement, an environmental protection effort.

>> Read about more Clean WORLD Activities in Pennsylvania

For some volunteers, this was their second time cleaning this area. Last fall, volunteers joined forces with the Oxford Circle neighborhood to fulfill the city’s goal of zero litter. Altogether, they collected 50 bags along Summerdale Avenue—parallel to Castor Avenue.

>> Read about the Summerdale Avenue Cleanup

Starting around 11 a.m., the volunteers and Representative Solomon walked down the street with trash bags in hand. They picked up whatever they could on their path like plastic bottles, wrappers and litter obstructing the storm drains. 

Together, they filled 30 bags of trash! Throughout the course of the event, those residing on Castor Avenue took notice. While some waved from a distance, others stepped out of their homes to talk to the volunteers.

State Representative Jared Solomon congratulated the volunteers for their remarkable efforts by saying, “Every single day we make a decision about what our community looks like.” He continued, “If we’re going to be engaged or not, and every time we need to make a decision to pick up a piece of trash. We say ‘yes’ to our community. ‘Yes’ to a new day and our neighborhoods. Thank you so much. I love the relationship with WeLoveU.”

The WeLoveU Foundation volunteers have completed numerous cleanups throughout the City of Brotherly Love alongside Rep. Solomon. WeLoveU is happy to honor their continued relationship with him and look ahead to more opportunities to meet the needs of the city. At the Pennsylvania State Capitol where WeLoveU received a Certificate of Recognition, Solomon said, “You cannot rebuild, revitalize a community without strong partners.”

Working together to make the global village a better place is what the WeLoveU Foundation aspires to accomplish. In fact, one of the 17 Global Goals is Partnership for the Goals, which WeLoveU encourages everyone from government agencies to companies, and from institutions to individuals to put into practice to transform our world.

Pin It on Pinterest