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The 2018 East Coast New Life Family Walkathon

weloveu foundation walkathon

New Life Family Walkathon: A Walk for Bright Minds

On Sunday, August 5, 2018, the first-ever East Coast New Life Family Walkathon took place in the country’s capital—Washington D.C—to help our neighbors in the global village. Nearly 2,000 participants gathered on the 3rd Street Gravel at the National Mall—the long, grassy home of iconic monuments—across from the U.S. Capitol Building.

It’s been twenty years since WeLoveU’s Chairwoman, Zahng Gil-jah, began her journey to benefit marginalized populations, refugees of climate change and war, children with incurable diseases and more through walkathons. And now, her seed has taken root and blossomed in the East Coast Region of the United States.

“I’m pleased to see the New Life Family Walkathon contributing to saving life and strengthening unity between family members. I think the greatest power in this world is love.”

Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah

Back in May, the WeLoveU Foundation delivered 3,000 solar-powered lanterns to vocational students in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This effort known as The #BrightHaiti Project was created to provide vocational students with a clean and safe source of light. While at the same time act as a tool of hope as they study for a brighter future.

Now, the New Life Family Walkathon is the vehicle to launch the second phase of The #BrightHaiti Project. The next phase involves installing solar panels in vocational schools and donating school supplies. Under the slogan, “Bright minds need bright lights,” the WeLoveU East Coast Region pledges to take the lead in caring for our family members in need in the Western Hemisphere.

A Mother’s Love: The Power That Makes the World Go Round

At 10 a.m., the opening ceremony began with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem accompanied by the U.S. Navy Color Guard. Next, a cultural dance followed and then the President of the WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region, Daniel Lee, gave his opening remarks.

Mr. Lee began by reminding the participants of the purpose behind their gathering. It’s to make a bright Haiti and for the well-being of humanity, but moreover, he emphasized the unique driving force behind WeLoveU’s activities, which is a mother’s love. With this love, WeLoveU is able to see, hear and also take care of the difficulties experienced by many in the global village.

“The love of a mother is the core to each and every activity, initiative and event carried out by the International WeLoveU Foundation. In this world where individualism is increasing, people in tough times are often left behind in despair. For those with such difficulties, the best solution is a mother’s love. It is only a mother’s love that has the capacity to care for and consider all people of the world.”

Daniel Lee, President of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region

Following Mr. Lee, another WeLoveU speaker introduced WeLoveU’s international works to the audience. From installing water pumpsassisting entire communities in the aftermath of disasters to building schools and more, it’s clear the WeLoveU Foundation is busy working all-yearlong—just as a mother gives herself no rest until all her children are cared for.

“I could continue to go on and on about the activities that have been made possible because of volunteers like you. But I mention all these examples as a way to demonstrate that all of us today are making a difference beyond what our eyes can see.”

Rebecca Parker, Vice President of Communications.

Afterward, another representative stepped forward explaining how WeLoveU’s activities and initiatives align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including 17 goals to fulfill their universal vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. In a nutshell, the SDGs intend to transform the world.

Along the walkway were panels highlighting WeLoveU’s activities that contribute to the fulfillment of these goals. For example, installing water pumps goes hand-in-hand to accomplish the sixth goal of clean water and sanitation. Delivering solar-powered lanterns to vocational students in Haiti helps fulfill quality education and affordable and clean energy. After reading the panels, members pledged their support to fulfill the goals through WeLoveU’s volunteer service projects. After signing a pledge, they placed a sticker on the world map. It’s because WeLoveU’s initiatives not only impact one region but extend a helping hand to the whole world.

“WeLoveU has been carrying out initiatives, activities, and events similar to these goals for nearly two decades. And during this time, WeLoveU has developed an approach to our humanitarian work that is driven by four major core values: humility, encouragement, love, patience, and sacrifice. In short, WeLoveU H.E.L.P.S.”

John Casas, Intl. WeLoveU Foundation Member

To wrap up the opening remarks, a special speaker came forward—Mayor Dean Mazzarella from Leominster, Massachusetts. Just an hour outside of Boston, the mayor has been supporting WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD activities and spreading WeLoveU’s message throughout the city of Leominster. “I can’t encourage more to other local elected officials, state or federal officials across the world: this is the organization you want to team up with. The definition of community is WeLoveU Foundation,” said Mayor Mazzarella.

Walking for the Happiness of Seven Billion People!

Around noon, all participants rallied to the starting point for the main event—the walk! After the ceremonial ribbon cutting at the front line, President Lee cued by saying, “Start!” The marching band began to play and the walkathon officially started.

A sea of blue shirts paraded around the 2.5-mile course for the happiness of all seven billion people. All ages from the youngest to the oldest walked together hand-in-hand with their families and friends. And giving an extra boost of encouragement, a cheer team held signs and cheered on the walkers saying: “Don’t give up!” “Shine the Light, Make it Bright!” “WeLoveU!” “Walk for Bright Minds!”

When everyone reached the finish line, a loud ‘hooray!’ resounded throughout the National Mall. It was a meaningful time for all to reflect on the impact of their actions while also realizing once again that all people of the global village are one family. By the early afternoon, families and friends ate their lunches together enjoying the shade and summer breeze.

Through the New Life Family Walkathon, WeLoveU affirms to deliver hope and support to those affected by adversity and misfortune. This can be accomplished with acts of compassion, devotion and an unconditional love of that of a mother. The participant’s steps will reach those in overseas countries and resound throughout the whole world.

15 thoughts on “The 2018 East Coast New Life Family Walkathon”

  1. Loved this walk – everyone was so excited and shared a beautiful experience. Looking forward to more in the future!

  2. This event was amazing, the International WeLoveU Foundation made such a great effort on the journey to help Haiti on this day.
    #BrightHaiti

  3. I couldn’t help but be extremely moved by the bright smiles, enthusiastic participation of all the We Love U volunteers, and the selfless love to organize a walkathon for the well being of others in Haiti. This is a supreme example, amongst many, that the We Love U Foundation has set for all 7 billion people on this earth: to love your neighbor as yourself. Thanks to chairwoman Zahng Gil-Jah for her perfect example of love and consideration.

  4. This walk-a-thon was amazing! I’ve particilated in numerous 5k runs and charitable events, but this one was just full of laughter more than any other. The volunteers drove from all over the East Coast of the US to participate and I can’t wait to see how the event benefits the lives of people in Haiti.

    1. This kind of event is so great. It brightens the hearts and minds of the people in the community, to say nothing of how it will brighten the hearts and minds of those less fortunate, on the receiving end.
      The Chairwoman Zahng Gil-Jah’s work has now spread to the US, and we are so thankful for it. By participating in the events by the WeLoveU Foundation, one truly participated in improving our planet’s wellbeing.

  5. This was such an awesome event! It just feels so good that I had the opportunity to participate in something so great. Wow! Thanks to the Chairwoman for setting such a great example.

  6. Being part of this walkathon was such an amazing opportunity to think of someone other than myself. To be part of something greater than myself and be able to share in love.

  7. I’m so happy I got to participate in such an amazing event! To be apart of something that has the ability to change the lives of others for the better is something I want to share with others!

  8. This was easily one of the most fun and exciting times of my life! Being surrounded by happy smiles, kind gestures, and hearing “We love you!” constantly, I had no choice but to feel the love of a Mother! The members and volunteers were so helpful and gentle. It was all around an amazing experience. Through this event, I saw that this isn’t just another organization. The members truly shone the sincere love the Chairwoman portrays. I believe the WeLoveU foundation will accomplish many great works in the global village. Thanks again! We love you! 💕

  9. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the WeLoveU Foundation
    For all volunteers to come together in unity to share a mothers love and help others in need is the greatest joy and the WeLoveU gives me that opportunity
    I’m so thankful to have been able to walk In the first New Life East Coast Walkathon for the Bright Haiti Project and can’t wait to see the bright lights that bring bright lives to Haiti
    GO HAITI 🙂

  10. Great event! Everyone was happy despite the hot weather. Participating to help the world to be a better place seems easier and more fun with this amazing organization!

  11. This event was so epic and I am glad that I had an opportunity to be apart of the first We Love U walkathon on the East Coast.
    Seeing the sea of blue shirts gather altogether with bright smiles on everyones face alone was so moving! You could feel the genuine love from the volunteers and witness the power of unity.
    I do hope to continue to make a impact in the world by participating with We Love U in its projects.
    Thank you for this unforgettable experience!

  12. The walkathon in D.C is a day my family and I will never forget. We drove from Kentucky the night before. Once we arrived we saw nothing but amazing smiles with United mindset. This event was a huge stepping stone into sharing the love of a Mother with the whole world. I would do it again whenever the opportunity presents itself.

  13. I’m so thankful to have been part of this event. The WeLoveU foundation has given me the opportunity to focus on something greater than what’s in front of me. I believe though this foundation myself all volunteers will be able to change this world with a Mother’s love. Great job WeLoveU foundation.

    1. Jonathan Exantus

      Glad to see another beautiful event to help strengthen families, and people in need. As a Haitian American, I am filled with happiness to have been part of this event. Thanks to the WeLoveU’s Chairwoman for providing a wonderful organization for the East Coast.

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