Author: Natasha Palance
Editor: Anik Ghose
A Path for the Future
Tzu Chi USA’s first-ever charity walk, ‘Steps for the Earth,’ united communities across the country in the noble pursuit of a cleaner and safer future free of natural disasters. Walks were held in New York City on August 11th and Los Angeles, California, on August 17th.
At Tzu Chi, we believe in the importance of individual action – local action with a global impact. As our planet’s resources continue to be exhausted, the frequency and intensity of natural disasters are on the rise. This not only impacts our everyday life, but ultimately brings about severe devastation for vulnerable communities across the globe. However, there are some seemingly simple steps which can make a massive impact.
In order to address the underlying causes of global disasters, ‘Steps for the Earth’ encourages climate action awareness, promotes vegetarianism, and raises awareness regarding the state of our planet. The events demonstrate that every individual step truly counts.
Steps for the Earth: NY
The first East-coast walk encompassed a moderate route in Hunter’s Point South Park in Queens, New York, followed by a ‘green’ picnic in promotion of sustainable living. Participants met in the morning and took impactful ‘steps’ along the route throughout the afternoon in support of eco-friendly habits.
It was absolutely wonderful to see so many people unite in support of the environment!
The day came to a close with a picnic of scrumptious vegetarian foods and fun activities. Attendees also engaged the community in eco-friendly alternatives to everyday habits. Before leaving, attendees made sure to leave the park cleaner than they found it!
Attendees enjoy a vegetarian picnic while taking in the panoramic scenery.
Steps for the Earth: LA
Sponsored by Condor Outdoor Products, Niantic Labs, and Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda L. Solis, the ‘Steps for the Earth’ walk’s first West-coast event in LA on August 17th brought all walks of life together to protect the planet.
Following last-minute registrations and check-ins, an opening speech given by Tzu Chi USA’s CEO, Han Huang, reminded the crowd of the importance of both individual and collective climate action. In accordance with our mission of protecting the planet and all of its inhabitants, a tree ceremony led by Tzu Chi volunteer, Martin Kuo, cultivated new life in the park as we stride toward a better future.
Volunteers and attendees truly did join hands to create a greener world.
An incredible day of fun, progress, and change proceeded! Participants were free to explore the event on their own accord with opportunities to enjoy live performances from musicians, including The Skip Culton Project, an orchestral group, choreographed dance routines, a Dragon Dance with corresponding drumists, and much more.
The walk included multiple outstanding performances.
Vendors brought an assortment of delectable treats to the event!
A wide variety of exhibits were available to visit at the event as well.
Teams began the 2K walk in the afternoon, and stopped by various checkpoints along the route to hydrate and rejuvenate their motivation to finish. Everyone enjoyed the walk – whether as a group or individually – and collected their raffle tickets for a chance to win some wonderful prizes at the end of the day. Some of the prizes included a round trip flight to Taipei from LA, and special PokemonGo and Ingress gifts from our partner and co-sponsor, Niantic Labs!
Attendees make strides at the walk.
After the walkathon’s completion, the event closed with an awe-inspiring performance of “Another Prayer for Paradise,” by The Skip Culton Project. It was a particularly meaningful piece, as the song was originally written and composed for California’s Camp Fire survivors. The set was followed by a candlelight prayer ceremony in honor of lives lost, lives impacted, and disaster survivors around the world.
With candles lit, so, too, were the hearts of all enkindled with love and care for all people and the planet.