On the morning of July 14, 80 young people, including students from the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) and a handful of staff from the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), FFWPU, and the leaders of Hyojeong workshop, walked in groups around Madison Square Garden to pick up trash and clean up the general area, with a desire to give all of their heart to tomorrow’s event and True Mother’s arrival. They went out in the rain, answering the vision of FFWPU International Vice President, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim– who was inspired after completing his 120th prayer lap around the Garden–for the American movement to serve the community and prepare the environment for True Parents.
With umbrellas in tow, the group of young people inspired passersby with their heart of caring and devotion, rekindling a spirit of filial piety in themselves and their surroundings. The group gathered first to pray over their effort in a small park near Madison Square Garden. After learning more about Dr. Kim’s heart for the act of service from Miilhan Stephens, FFWPU vice president, the group offered three prayers to prepare their spirits. Jinil Fleischman, president of CARP LV, Kaeleigh Moffitt, director of the National Youth Ministry, and Miilhan each offered a prayer before getting to work.
The volunteers broke up into small groups and methodically began to circulate in opposite directions around the Garden. Those who had come from out of town were students from CARP Los Angeles and CARP Las Vegas, as well as a Japanese missionary team. Rev. Andrew and Lydia Compton also joined the young people as they made their way around the Garden.
Many passersby expressed surprise and gratitude as they saw the young people, who were clearly not employees or in anyway affiliated with MSG, picking up trash despite the steady rain.
“It’s sad to say, but it’s very unusual to see such a wide-scale and voluntary act of kindness in the city these days,” said one of the volunteers from the New York area. “People were, therefore, naturally moved to see such a high concentration of goodwill.”
Some of the volunteers, like Lydia Compton, also took the opportunity to share about tomorrow’s event with those who were intrigued to see such a beautiful and unexpected act of service and invited them to come tomorrow.
At one point, some of the Japanese sisters were reaching down under some mechanical equipment to pick up some of the trash lying there, but they were told by the Garden staff on duty to move away from the space, since there were live wires and they might hit their heads on a low-lying edge of the machinery.
Mi Young Eaton, who witnessed the moment, reported afterward, “I’m not sure if the sisters understood due to the language barrier, but they were cautioned out of concern and kindness, and as we were moving on, the staff members also expressed their gratitude to us for being out in the rain and cleaning up around the Garden.”
After circling the whole venue, the volunteers met up again in the park to take a group picture and close off a very successful morning of service. A few of our FFWPU headquarters staff had to leave the group before the photo was taken in order to return to other preparations for tomorrow’s event and the weekend Hyojeong workshop.
The group plans to go out again one more time on the morning of July 15, to ensure a beautiful, clean entrance for everyone arriving that day.