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Long Beach volunteer group, Be the Cause, hosts its 10th annual Walk for Hope. The event never fails to muster community support for up to 50 nonprofit organizations from Southern California, with 100 percent of proceeds raised from the event distributed to beneficiaries.

Be the Cause founder Sukh Chugh describes the walk as two miles of “pure goodness” and “a reminder of the things that matter most in life—a metaphor for the movement that we are all engaged in. By laying one foot on the ground the other follows. Only by beginning can we move forward,” he says.

Be the Cause has been an active volunteer organization since its foundation in 2002 when Chugh, a young Punjabi man in his 20s at the time, masterminded the concept of “compassion cells” in response to the terrorist cells responsible for the 9/11 attacks. He envisaged the cells as groups of like-minded volunteers working together to coordinate projects and provide “meaningful opportunities of service.”

Chugh and his organization have fulfilled their mission time and time again. Be the Cause has completed over 400 projects worldwide since its inception and has been honored by the Urban Outreach Center as an “Outstanding Community Partner.” Chugh also received the prestigious Orange County Human Relations Award in 2009 for his services to the community.

In the past, various nonprofit organizations have partnered with Walk for Hope to urge walkers to support their commitment to social change. South Asian charities such as the Sankara Eye Foundation, whose gift of vision has opened over 730,000 eyes in India, and Sahara, a local organization that champions the rights of victims of domestic abuse and provides crucial support through its telephone helpline, have been avid supporters of the event. Money raised by walkers has contributed to many ongoing aid programs supporting those in need in the local community and disenfranchised South Asians living overseas.

This year’s Walk for Hope is a chance for walkers to support their chosen cause and to “pour a little love back into the community.” A monument will be erected by the stage offering people an opportunity to contemplate things they would like to change before they die and a garden of kindness created with paper flowers will convey messages embodying the charitable spirit.

Chugh explains, “The quotes along the route, the activities, the music, even the lunch, are all prepared by volunteers to remind us of what is most important in life. The Walk for Hope is our gift to you.”

An outdoor concert and free lunch will be provided to all participants and there is no registration fee to take part.n

 Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. El Dorado Park, 7701 E. Spring St., Long Beach. Free. Register: www.bethecause.org.

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