By Devlin Smith
Despite early morning rain and a bit of flooding at El Dorado Park in Long Beach, Calif., the sixth annual Be the Cause: Walk for Hope turned out an enthusiastic crowd. African Well Fund was just one of the dozens of organizations who participated.
Several Southern California AWF board members and volunteers manned a booth to share information about the organization. A few also walked the park's three-mile course, including Chairman Julie Cook, who walked carrying a gallon jug of water.
Volunteer Ayesha Marcel and African Well Fund Chairman Julie Cook
"I am not in best of shape and while I wanted to walk with the water gallon, I was nervous if I could carry it the whole way," Cook said. "I did it! We got a lot of stares from fellow walkers. It enhanced my vision of the mission because actually doing something they do everyday makes you really think about the task and how different their day is from ours. It makes you appreciate more what you have. It also makes you realize what amazing balance and strength children and women must have."
An anonymous walker collected $2,300 for AWF, a donation that was revealed by a Be the Cause volunteer at the event. "I was totally impressed and rather speechless," Cook said of the donation. "How humble to be anonymous as well. That is an amazing amount of money to raise."
Combined with donations collected by other walkers, that $2,300 anonymous donation brought AWF's to-date total raised from the event to $2,515.
In addition to raising money, the Walk for Hope also gave AWF the opportunity to meet with new potential donors and volunteers, as well as other nonprofit organizations. "It is inspiring to participate in it from a volunteer perspective," Cook said. "There are so many people there from different nonprofits; it's just a great place to be with so many like-minded people."
This was the third year that AWF participated in the Walk for Hope. For more information on this and other Be the Cause events, visit www.bethecause.org.