Unification News for September 2002

A Summer of Service in Washington DC

by Bella Baco

Around 300 young people of diverse races, cultures, nationalities and backgrounds from different states across America and other countries of the world, gathered together at Washington DC to show true love through service. ‘Summer of Service 2002’ is part of the True Love in Action world tour. True Love in Action is the SFP motto, and its vision is to be the global leader creating personal transformation and peaceful communities through service-learning programs.

Service for Peace is based on three root principles. The first is that humanity is one family, the next that we are in essence spiritual beings; and lastly that selfless service fosters personal growth and peaceful individuals, families and communities. In this way, service is applied as an educational vehicle to bring about a transformation in the human heart, human relationships, and human culture, thereby facilitating peace.

Though the project is centered at Washington DC, some of the volunteers reached out to the neighboring states, too, like Maryland and Virginia.

More than 50 kinds of services are being rendered such as: picking up the trash and cleaning up the streets, parks, creeks and churches, as well as arranging books in the library; paintings; squeegeeing of stores and establishments; gardening; mentoring; tutoring; singing; manning a soup kitchens; visiting shelters; taking care of elderly people; yard sale; shed building; singing, and etc.

The program concluded in late July with a joint project with the DC Public Schools to kick off ‘Schools Readiness Month,’ painting and gardening, erasing graffiti and generally making the District’s schools ready for the new school year in September.

The participants worked hard, but they definitely enjoyed themselves too. "Amazing! I developed myself and I did what I would love to do!" said Yemi Pickard, 18, a singer and artist. Shin Nan Goto, 19, agreed: "The SFP Summer of Service allows kids of any race, religion, or culture to follow their consciences, and just live for other people." The University of Virginia freshman said, "We want to focus on how much we can give and not on how much we can receive."

"This is a great opportunity to change the world quickly!" enthused F. Chaillie, 21, from Paris, France.

The culmination of SFP Summer of Service 2002 was the rally at MCI Center on July 26.

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