Today we’re stepping into a more “compassionate” world with Walk With Compassion West LA co-chairs Brittany and Kristian Glenn.
It doesn’t take a leap to the other side of the world to get involved, but traveling a short distance, maybe right here in your own city. On Saturday May 20th, Compassion International is hosting Walk With Compassion in Santa Monica’s Tongva Park to raise awareness on their work to provide clean water, prevent disease and offer disaster relief to impoverished children across the globe.
We asked the Glenns what planning this walk in Los Angeles meant to them and how we can all be a little more “compassionate.”
Darling Magazine: What inspired you to get involved with Compassion?
Brittany and Kristian Glenn: In the fall of 2007, a Compassion representative came to my husband’s campus of Pepperdine University and spoke about the organization. That is when Kristian (my husband) started to sponsor a child named Nester and began writing back and forth through Compassion’s program.
A couple years later, Kristian received a letter notifying him that Nester was tragically struck by a car and was killed. Needless to say, that experience was very hard to deal with as Nester and Kristian became very close through their letters. After we started dating a couple years ago, he shared with me Nester’s story and, because I was so moved by it, I started sponsoring Maria the very next day. A year or so into our relationship, we were invited to attend a Compassion training session for volunteers and sponsors and were introduced to several people who work at Compassion International. Through those conversations and additional training sessions, we were told about their new fundraising event platform, Walk With Compassion.
DM: What does Walk With Compassion support?
BG & KG: Participation is key! It helps bring awareness to your community, but we can guarantee that at each of the stations set up along the walk, you will walk away learning something that you didn’t know before. Even if you can’t be there in person, the funds you raise or donate go directly to Compassion’s general fund which supports needs of malaria nets, access to clean water, disaster relief and much more.
Participants walk a two-mile interactive loop, then gather back at the expo area for some post-walk entertainment. Registration begins at 9am and the Walk kicks off at 10am, finishing at noon. It’s for all ages and is a “go at your own pace” walk. It is a great way to give back to those in need without leaving your hometown! We will be hosting the Walk this year at Tongva Park in Santa Monica, right next to the pier. The loop is along the beautiful Santa Monica cliffs in the Palisades Park that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
It is a great way to give back to those in need without leaving your hometown!
DM: What does walking for compassion mean to you?
BG & KG: It’s all about giving back. In our country, we deal with poverty in every major city in America. But in these countries around the world, the impact is far greater. These kids don’t have access to clean water! They are hit with diseases left and right, like malaria. Their towns are torn apart through gang violence or other disasters, like tsunamis. By walking, you are celebrating the impact you have made in these kids’ lives by bringing them hope in an otherwise hopeless situation.
DM: How can others get involved with Walk With Compassion?
BG & KG: Through our website, www.walkwithcompassion.com/westlosangeles, people can donate, create a fundraising team or even volunteer to help us set up the event! Simply sharing the event on social media with your family and friends can help bring awareness to this amazing cause.
DM: How is West LA adopting Walk With Compassion’s mantra of “local action, global outcome?”
BG & KG: As the video on our website puts it, you don’t have to leave your backyard to make a difference! Bring the family and enjoy the beautiful Santa Monica sunshine and expo area entertainment, all the while making a huge difference around the globe and learning about the poverty-stricken communities as you walk the loop.
DM: What has planning this event taught you about compassion for underprivileged children around the world, and how can the world be more compassionate?
BG & KG: One question we keep getting asked from people is, “What about children in the US?” Yes, there are many children in the States who need assistance both financially and emotionally, and we fully support those causes. But the children we are reaching out to need our help, too. They did not choose to be born in a community without running water. They did not choose to be born into a family with AIDS or be affected by malaria. They did not choose to be born in a town where the access to an elementary education is scare.
The $38 dollars it takes per month to sponsor a child through Compassion goes a lot farther in these underdeveloped countries. Bottom line is they are ALL children of God no matter what their country or background and they cannot be ignored. The more we help other countries in need, the better relationships our leaders will have with one another and, therefore, a more peaceful and compassionate world we will pass on to our own children.
To get involved with Walk With Compassion or Compassion International, visit www.walkwithcompassion.com/westlosangeles.
Feature Image via Tess Comrie