By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
CROP Hunger Walk is the single largest funding source for the critical global development and relief work of Church World Services (CWS). Walks throughout the United States are organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world.
Gale Francione of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport has participated in the CROP walk since she moved to the Quad Cities in 1978. “I think it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded people who want to make a difference,” she said.
“It’s a concrete way to make a difference in the world. My donations help fight hunger at home and abroad. I get to share my excess resources with folks who need it. I get to walk because other people have to walk … to work, to their farm, to market, to get water, to get firewood, to safety. It’s a family-friendly event that can offer a joint project for parents and kids.” Donations can be made online if someone is unable to walk on the scheduled day, she noted.
“CWS’s mission is to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice,” Mary Catherine Hinds, CROP Hunger Walk national community event strategist, said in a letter to supporters. “We do this by responding to disasters, assisting refugees and engaging in grassroots development. We do our work through a network of indigenous partner agencies and with guidance from our 37 Christian member communions.
“CWS supports a wide variety of programs and initiatives aimed at ending hunger. From providing micro-loans to starting community gardens to securing access to safe water for villages, the funds that CROP Hunger Walkers donate are providing for transformational changes by empowering local people to improve their lives….”
Programs are implemented by local nonprofits in the host countries. Some of them “may also have programs that include instruction in natural family planning/ child spacing. No CROP Hunger Walk funds are provided to perform abortions. Some partners may provide contraceptives if requested by a client, especially when focused on prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS. Though extremely minor in relation to our overall program, we recognize that this dimension may create concern for some of our constituents.”
Hinds notes that 25 percent of funds raised by CROP walks help address needs in the local community.
Donors have the option of designating where the global portion of their funds will be directed, such as Catholic Relief Services. “In an effort to accurately account for the donor’s wishes, these donations must be made using our online platform. Donors who do not have online access can send their checks directly to CRS.”
The 2018 CROP walk in Iowa City took place earlier this year. Upcoming CROP walks include:
Sept. 23, Pella Tulip Toren, Franklin Park, Pella
Oct. 7, Freight House, Davenport
Oct. 7, Riverside Park, Muscatine
Oct. 7, Two-Good Park, Preston
Oct. 21, Community of Christ Church, Muscatine
Walks also are schedule in scheduled in DeWitt, Wilton-Durant, Grinnell and Jasper County.
For more information on the walks or to sign up visit https://www.crophungerwalk.org/#walks.