Madison Area CROP Hunger Walk

First Congregational Church will again be hosting the Madison CROP Walk. For 39 years, people from the Madison area have been gathering on a fall day to walk in solidarity with those around the world, and in our own neighborhoods, who have felt the sharp pangs of hunger or endured the lasting effects of poverty. “We Walk Because They Walk” has been a long standing phrase in CROP circles.

What does CROP stand for?

When CROP began in 1947 (under the wing of Church World Service, which was founded in 1946), CROP was an acronym for the Christian Rural Overseas Program. Its primary mission was to help Midwest farm families to share their grain with hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. The organization has outgrown the acronym but still retains it as the historic name of the program. CROP Hunger Walks are interfaith hunger education and fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by CWS local offices across the U.S.

What is a CROP Walk?

CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. With its inception in 1969, CROP Hunger Walks are viewed by many as the granddaddy of charity walks. On October 17, 1969, a thousand people in Bismarck, ND, walked in what may have been the first-ever CROP Hunger Walk – and raised $25,000 to help stop hunger. Several other CROP Hunger Walks occurred soon thereafter, and before long there were hundreds of Walks each year in communities nationwide. Currently, well over 2,000 communities across the U.S. join in more than 1,600 CROP Hunger Walks each year. More than five million CROP Hunger Walkers have participated in more than 36,000 CROP Hunger Walks in the last two decades alone.

What happens to CROP Walk funds?

CROP Hunger Walks help to support the overall ministry of Church World Service, especially grassroots, hunger-fighting development efforts around the world. In addition, each local CROP Hunger Walk can choose to return up to 25 percent of the funds it raises to hunger-fighting programs in its own community. CROP Hunger Walks help to provide food and water, as well as resources that empower people to meet their own needs. From seeds and tools, to wells and water systems, to technical training and micro-enterprise loans, the key is people working together to identify their own development priorities, their strengths and their needs – something CWS has learned through some 67 years of working in partnership around the world.

How can I help?

It’s not to late to be an active participant in this year’s CROP Walk! Sign up to be a walker, or support a walking team by going to www.cropwalkonline.org/madisonwi First Congregational Church has an online link to join or support. Contact Jeff Rabe, Chair of the Planning Committee with any questions.

~ Jeff Rabe

 

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 9:52 am in Featured Content.

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