MA State Rep Liz Miranda Joins WeLoveU Ceylon Park Cleanup in Boston

MA State Rep Liz Miranda Joins WeLoveU Ceylon Park Cleanup in Boston

Tending to Ceylon Park Near Three Public Schools

On Sunday, September 15, 2019, 90 volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation came together to clean Ceylon Park in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Dorchester is one of the biggest and most diverse neighborhood in Boston and Ceylon Park itself is about four acres big. In addition to volunteers from the local Boston area, others joined from New Hampshire and Maine. The New England region often holds big cleanups together including the Blackstone and Franklin Square Earth Day Cleanup and Barrett Park Cleanup.

Considering Ceylon Park is nestled between three public schools, maintaining the park is pivotal for a healthy and safe environment. The Foundation organized the activity and partnered with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department as a part of WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD Movement.

Working Together with State Rep Liz Miranda

A great number of hands was needed for this project. Overtime, litter piled up throughout the park; leaving it only to invite more trash. Starting at 10 a.m., volunteers were raking leaves, picking up dead branches and litter, pulling up weeds, and spreading fresh mulch on the playground.

State Representative Liz Miranda also joined in WeLoveU’s cleanup efforts. She’s seen raking and picking up trash alongside the volunteers. Regarding her experience, she said, “The world really needs more love, peace and unity. Thank you for inspiring hundreds and thousands of people across the world to remind us that we need, even in dark times like we are today, that we could still transcend that with love. Thank you for that.”

The Results and Words From Boston’s Park & Recreation Dept.

By noon, the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers filled about 75 bags of trash! Altogether, it averages to be more than 350 pounds of trash.

Rick Thompson from the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, whose worked with WeLoveU several times in the past said, “I want to give her [WeLoveU Chairwoman, Zahng Gil-jah] a shout out. People like her make people like us well motivated to do more. This is what the world needs now: more unity and more peace amongst everybody. So, [I] thank her very much for that and thank you all too!”

>> Watch Boston Fox 25 News coverage about WeLoveU’s Ceylon Park cleanup

WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Comfort Tyler Park with a Twist

WeLoveU Volunteers Clean Comfort Tyler Park with a Twist

The WeLoveU Foundation volunteers in Syracuse, NY planned their monthly park cleanup with a fun addition: a school supply drive.

Each month a handful between 20-30 volunteers clean Comfort Tyler Park in partnership with the City of Syracuse’s Adopt-a-Block program. And to engage the community to give a helping hand in their own backyard, WeLoveU volunteers have different themes. For Mother and Father’s Day cleanups, volunteers prepped stations for guests to enjoy after cleaning like letter-writing stations, face painting, and playing recreational games.

However, with the new school semester around the corner, the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers thought to host a school supply drive a week before the cleanup and conclude at their monthly park cleanup on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

WeLoveU volunteers clearing sidewalks in February and picking up trash in April.

The Need for School Supplies

Teachers around the globe and the United States face challenges of purchasing supplies for their own classrooms. Keeping that in mind, the WeLoveU volunteers reached out to two schools—Edward Smith K-8 and the Syracuse Latin School—and both gladly accepted the gesture of a school supply drive. 

Syracuse’s City Hall and the public library helped by permitting WeLoveU volunteers to leave drop-off donation boxes on site.

Cleaning and Helping Our Local Schools 

On the day of the cleanup, around volunteers met at Comfort Tyler Park. In a short amount of time, they filled 11 bags of trash with litter, weeds, and leaves they raked. While cleaning, neighborhood children and their families dropped off new school supplies. In total, the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers and the community’s support garnered school supplies enough to fill four big boxes.

Read a recap of WeLoveU volunteers cleanup efforts at Comfort Tyler Park

Personal Delivery to Syracuse Schools

The next day, September 9, 2019, the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers personally delivered the new school supplies to Edward Smith K-8 and the Syracuse Latin School. Principal Kelly Manard from the Syracuse Latin School said, “Things run out at the elementary school, crayons get broken, pencils get broken, notebook paper gets used. So to have all those little extras to be able to replenish through the year is really helpful to the school.”

Through the efforts of the WeLoveU Foundation, big and small, the Comfort Tyler Park cleanup and school supply drive align with SDG #4 and #13—Quality Education and Life on Land. The volunteers in Syracuse hope to continue spreading positivity and help wherever help is needed.

Watch CNY Central’s news coverage of the cleanup and school supply drive!

Intl WeLoveU Foundation Joins the 68th UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, UT

Intl WeLoveU Foundation Joins the 68th UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, UT

The United Nations hosted the 68th UN Civil Society Conference from August 26-28, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Theme: Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The International WeLoveU Foundation participated in the conference by hosting three exhibits as well as a workshop focused on youth empowerment. More than 30 WeLoveU Foundation volunteers attended the conference from chapters in more than 10 states and from South Korea where WeLoveU’s headquarters is located. Nearly 5,000 participants from more than 700 civil society organizations and 120 countries also attended the conference.

More than 200 exhibits were on display in Halls 2 and 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The United Nations Civil Society Conference allows international civil society organizations to place a global perspective on specific issues and time to share best practices at the international level through networking and participation in thematic sessions, organization-led workshops, and diverse exhibits. 

It also brings together senior UN System officials, academicians, private sectors, public opinion makers, governmental organizations, and international media to discuss issues of global concern. (Featured above: UN Chief of NGO Relations Jeff Brez and Former Under-Secretary General for the UN DGC Allison Smale)

The #BrightHaiti Experience

WeLoveU’s first exhibit out of three was the #BrightHaiti Experience. In order to create sustainable communities and enable students to study and work in the evening, WeLoveU Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah donated 3,000 solar-powered lanterns to students of the Wharf-Jeremie Vocational and Technical Training Institute in July 2018

More than 500 guests went on a journey to the Caribbean, experiencing a glimpse of what it’s like to be a student in Haiti without steady electricity. At first, they attempted to read a textbook by candlelight while seated in a replica of a small house in Haiti. Exhibit guides discussed the current status of the developing nation, which supplies electricity to only 25% of citizens. 

Once the solar-powered lantern was turned on, guests right away exclaimed, “Wow!” or “Oh!” because of the overwhelming difference between reading with candlelight and by lantern. They witnessed first-hand the impact of the #BrightHaiti Project and how it benefits students to achieve quality education. 

(Featured above: UN DGC Public Information Officer Felipe Queipo and Founding Principal of KZ Architecture Jaya Kader)

The #BrightHaiti Experience wrapped up with participants reading testimonials from the students who received the lanterns. Six months after the donation ceremony, students shared that the #BrightHaiti Project reached far beyond the 3,000 recipients. Up to 10 students in their communities were gathering in one house in order to study using the light of one lantern. 

>> Read the students testimonials

#StartDoingGood Graphic Novel Exhibit

The next booth brought visitors on an exciting adventure through WeLoveU’s original graphic novel, #StartDoingGood. Leopold, an avid WeLoveU volunteer, takes his friend Kai on a global adventure to teach him about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and save a sick planet, Mr. Earth.

The graphic novel is a fun, engaging, and creative way to familiarize oneself with the goals and learn how to fulfill them. It’s also an effective tool to teach youth about the SDGs. At this exhibit, participants were also able to take a memorable photo with life-size characters of the SDG novel, Leopold, Kai and Mr. Earth.

(Left to right: VP of PR at USNC_UN Women Vlada Yaramenko and Former Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius John Price)

(1) Center, Political Presenter for Ariana News in Afghanistan Hamdard Ghafoorey. (2) Fourth from right, Actor and Environmentalist Luke Mullen. (3) Center, Yinka Lawanson or his stage name, Lamboginny, Nigerian singer who advocates for prison reform.

Learning About #WeLoveU

The third booth allowed guest to learn more about the WeLoveU Foundation initiatives and projects throughout the world and learn more about the SDGs. Visitors played “spin the wheel” which landed on one of the 17 SDGs. After learning some of the targets and dimensions of the SDG, participants made a personal pledge as to how to fulfill the goal in their daily lives. Guests posted their pledge on the 8-foot pledge board along with an SDG sticker to create the “WeLoveU” logo collage with SDG stickers by the end of the conference.

Empowering Youth to Fulfill the Goals Workshop

On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, the WeLoveU Foundation hosted an engaging workshop entitled, Empowering Youth to Fulfill the Goals. Over 100 guests attended the workshop, which featured a panel-style discussion with WeLoveU’s Vice President of Global Communications John Power, Red Cross Representative Sherri Van Bibber, and WeLoveU Youth Volunteer Representative Cassandra Todd.

Panelists discussed the challenges preventing youth from volunteering such as juggling school and work or establishing their careers.

Mr. Power provided some insight as to what youth empowerment looks like while Ms. Sherri Van Bibber provided examples of the youth’s impact in society. She described a recent modification to blood donor age regulations allowing young adults, as young as 17 (formerly 18), to participate in life-saving blood donations—a revision which was initiated by young adults. Youth representative Ms. Todd emphasized the importance of instilling volunteerism in youth from a young age to encourage the next generation to regularly participate in community service as a lifestyle and speak up for what is good.

Workshop attendees enjoyed the family-like atmosphere of the event, which was informative and sincere, yet fun and light-hearted. One guest called the workshop the “highlight of the conference!”

Until Next Year, #UNCSC ♥

All in all, WeLoveU board members and volunteers enjoyed attending thematic sessions and workshops throughout the course of the conference to gain insight on global issues. In this way, they can learn how the WeLoveU Foundation can address these concerns through international volunteer services. Members of WeLoveU established many networks in order to partner with other NGOs to work towards fulfilling the Global Goals.

Volunteers are eager to apply what they’ve learned through the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference through community service activities and give hope to their neighbors. By sharing the love of a mother and treating the whole world as a global family, WeLoveU contributes towards building sustainable and inclusive communities and giving hope to the world.

WeLoveU’s Worldwide Blood Drive Lands in Buffalo

WeLoveU’s Worldwide Blood Drive Lands in Buffalo

Relieving Blood Shortages One Donation at a Time

The International WeLoveU Foundation’s 2019 Worldwide One-Two Blood Drive Movement has provided blood banks and hospitals with a global network of blood donors since its launch in June. As the need for blood is high and the supply is low, WeLoveU’s campaign aims to relieve global blood shortages. To date, more than 50 countries have participated in WeLoveU’s worldwide blood drive movement.

WeLoveU volunteers in Buffalo, New York also joined this worldwide effort. They organized a blood drive in partnership with ConnectLife (formerly UNYTS) on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at the ConnectLife headquarters. Through their partnership, they extended their outreach by enlightening people about the benefits of donating blood. At the same time, their efforts are working to address the blood shortages in the city of Buffalo.

As the city faces blood shortages in the summer, the timing of it all was perfect. WeLoveU volunteers invited everyone from public officials to residents to participate in the blood drive. On the day of the donation, WeLoveU volunteers displayed panels about the importance of donating blood and the statistics surrounding it.

The Big Day!

Starting at 9:30 a.m. for set up, WeLoveU volunteers and ConnectLife staff set up tents, tables and chairs. Commemorating the day, they took a group photo and by noon registration opened and donors poured through the door. 

Roughly 70 people walked through ConnectLife’s doors to donate. Not to mention, WeLoveU volunteers traveled from Syracuse and Rochester to join. Outside the blood center, there was face painting for children, families enjoying food and even dancing.

“Being a member of this community, we would like to thank the WeLoveU Foundation for being very conscious about the problems and the issues that are going on far abroad and here at home, especially in the community of Buffalo. Even though their whole intention is international, I’m glad to hear they were also responsive in the recent emergency call in the region of Buffalo.” 

– Dr. Nader Nader, Chief of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs

The event concluded with ConnectLife presenting the WeLoveU Foundation a Certificate of Appreciation for their life-saving efforts. Through the donors’ collective efforts, approximately 117 lives can be saved through their donations.

50 WeLoveU Volunteers Maintain Over 200 Trees in Charlotte

50 WeLoveU Volunteers Maintain Over 200 Trees in Charlotte

Time for a Tree Check-Up

On Sunday, August 25, 2019, more than 50 WeLoveU volunteers showed that maintaining trees is as important as planting them. In a few hours, they checked 206 trees off Chilton Place in Myers Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Planting trees is helpful to the environment and is certainly a practice that should continue. However, what is as important as planting them is ensuring they grow well and are tended to. The WeLoveU volunteers worked hand-in-hand with the Mecklenburg Storm Water Services Lane Use and Environmental Services Agency.

The Scoop on Planting Trees

Planting trees holds many benefits. Due to constant rainfall and frequent flooding, areas may be affected by erosion. To prevent this from happening, planting trees in those areas helps stabilize the creeks banks and creates a natural buffer to soak up storm water runoff instead of flooding. All of these factors then stop erosion from affecting the environment. In addition, trees improve air quality and provides shade to the waterways like a creek, which then provides a better environment for fish and insects inhabiting those spaces.

Tree Maintenance for Growing Trees

All fifty volunteers made their way to the location by 10 a.m. They saw the tree seedlings covered with tubes, which protects them from deer and provides moisture—an important component in the early stages of growth. Volunteers also noticed signs of choking from the weeds and branches wrapping around the tree seedlings.

For about two hours, volunteers pulled up weeds, cut off branches, and picked up trash around the area. On top of that, they provided extra support for trees to grow straight if they showed signs of bending.

The environmental agency was glad to welcome a large group of volunteers as there’s sometimes not enough hands. Tree maintenance after the initial planting of them is necessary as the volunteers experienced. A local news station stopped by the park and aired a broadcast about the volunteers’ efforts.

>> Watch local news broadcast of WeLoveU’s tree maintenance project

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