Walk for health, walk for love

Updated: 2013-09-20 16:16

(China Daily)

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Walk for health, walk for love

David G. Brooks (left), president of Coca-Cola Greater China and Korea, guns off the start of Walk for Love in Hangzhou on Thursday. Provided to China Daily

Walk and charity

About 114,000 schools in China's rural areas are short of potable water. People in those areas rely on water taken directly from lakes, rivers or ponds.

Coca-Cola China and One Foundation came together last year to organize a charity drive through walking.

"With the Internet and social media, the platform for charity is more open," said Yang Peng, secretary-general of One Foundation which on Dec 3, 2010, became the first private charitable fundraising organization in China.

"It's becoming a trend in which donors and volunteers want to be part of the charity and they want to see the transparent flow of donations.

"I think by collecting money and then walking together, people have greater trust in this initiative and are more willing to help."

A focus on involvement

In most athletic activities people compete to win, but walking is more about involvement than beating rivals.

"Winning or losing is not important in walking; walking for charity is a process of self-participation and self-challenge. It's about achieving joy and happiness," Yang said.

He said the combination of sport and charity encouraged more people to take part in the event.

"I think if we put a charity and a sport together, it's more effective in promoting the idea of charity in communities."

Yang's thoughts were echoed by Zhang Huaying, vice-president of Coca-Cola, Greater China and Korea.

"Sport, charity and our company have something in common. It's a pursuit of being positive, optimistic, friendly and fair," she said.

"Because of this love, people come together and walk to provide something good for other people.

"In China, we like to say 'People in spirit and in purpose walk together'. Thursday's campaign was the perfect example of that."