On our 6th annual NYC Walk to Feed the Hungry we were blessed with excellent weather—a little chilly at first, but the sunshine soon made it perfectly comfortable. About 150 people turned up to support this event!
Participants then gathered as Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi spoke of the history of the Walk, and read a special message of support from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
I am pleased to join Buddhist Global Relief in welcoming everyone to the Walk to Feed the Hungry in New York City.
New York is a profoundly diverse City where residents from all backgrounds and walks of life are united by a shared commitment to lift up their neighbors. Today, Buddhist Global Relief exemplifies that quintessential New York spirit as it gathers friends and families from all faith backgrounds in Riverside Park in a shared commitment to end global hunger. I am delighted to express my appreciation to all of the participants: every step you take this day is a step toward a more equitable world. My administration is using every tool at our disposal to support families and build a brighter and more just City, and we are grateful for the community members and organizations that share our commitment to this cause.
On behalf of the City of New York, I offer my best wishes for a successful event and a productive year ahead.
Bill de Blasio
Following this announcement, we then began the Walk at the southern tip of Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at the 79th street entrance.
Many of our friends had come to join us, including the Muslim Women in Research & Development, a recipient of partial proceeds from the Walk. Among the many Buddhist groups that came to the Walk were representatives from Chuang Yen Monastery, the Shantideva Meditation Center, Buddhist Church of New York, the New York Buddhist Vihara, the Burmese Temple of Brooklyn, the Open Mind Zendo, New York Insight, and others.
The Walk ended at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. As in past Walks, the Church generously provided us with a space to feast on the delicious vegetarian food provided by volunteers and donors. The Pastor welcomed us with kind words and expressed his appreciation for the purpose of the Walk.
Roshi Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, from Heart Circle Sangha, emceed a program that was one of the most inspiring parts of the day.
BGR Secretary Marcie Barth gave an overview of how our programs have grown from just four in 2008 to more than 26 programs in 2015.
Our friends from the Muslim Women’s Institute of Research and Development, Adam Bucko of the Reciprocity Foundation, Harry Mcneary of Urban Rebuilding Initiative, and Liz Gilbert of Helen Keller International also shared with us about how BGR’s support contributed to the growth and fulfillment of their own programs.
Representing the Sangha, Rev. T.K. Nakagaki spoke as President of the New York Council, and BGR Chair Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi explained the principle of “conscientious compassion” that animates the work of BGR. The day ended with a beautiful chant by the nuns of Chuang Yen Monastery, followed by Sri Lankan monks reciting chants to bless the assembly.
Youtube videos of walk highlights are available here: .
Click on the Youtube logo on the base line to access all ten videos.