CROP Hunger Walk stories

These stories highlight just a few of the two million CROP Walkers, volunteers, and sponsors that put their hearts and soles in motion to help end hunger and poverty around the world.

Why do people join in CROP Hunger Walk?

We asked our Facebook friends to tell us why they join in their community's CROP Hunger Walk. Here are some responses -- straight off our page.

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CROP Hunger Walkers, Burke, Va.
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Earlier this week we asked our Facebook friends to tell us one reason they CROP Hunger Walk. Here are a few responses.


    • Caitlet Drake Our family CROP Hunger Walks because we want to teach our boys about helping others and how everyone really can make a difference in the world...
    • Kathleen Simon Fortney Because my life has been so blessed, I feel that I should share what I have with others (plus, it's great exercise!).
    • Lynne Amsden Because no child should ever go to bed hungry and no parent should EVER worry about where their next meal is coming from !
    • Timothy E McHugh We CROP Hunger Walk because being hungry isn't a sign of personal failing and isn't a judgement of one's behavior. it is a preventable condition that more often than not requires that one person help another. We are meant to bear one another's burdens and help each other through times of suffering.
    • Tom Hampson Because it's a great way to make a difference both at home and around the world. We're gearing up for our CROP Hunger Walk in South Bend, IN, and vicinity next month. It's great to see the whole community come out.
    • Linda Fleagle Marcotte CROP Hunger Walk is a community, intergenerational walk that helps both at home and elsewhere. It gives us a positive way to help, build awareness and "walk because they walk".
    • Pamela S Ford For God's Glory!!!
    • Tiffany Carroll Whary To raise money with the hope that no one will go hungry!
    • Rebecca O'Neill For my neighbors!
    • Joann Harris born into it!

Why do you CROP Walk? Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/churchworldservice and tell the world.  And if you're not already signed up, visit cropwalkonline.org to find the CROP Hunger Walk in your area. On behalf of neighbors near and far, thank you!

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Loading food on truck
Mark Tucker, from Community Action House, and his crew load food donated at the Holland/Zeeland CROP Hunger Walk.
Photo: Tim Staal
Walkers signing banner
Walkers signing a banner during registration.
Photo: Tim Staal

Holland/Zeeland CROP Hunger Walk enhances the day through added emphasis on local food needs and sense of community

The Holland/Zeeland CROP Hunger Walk has a tradition of inviting their walkers to bring along food items to the Walk for their local food ministries.  As people register, the items are received by volunteers from those feeding programs. Mark Tucker, from Community Action House, and his crew load items into Gaylord boxes, then divide the food after the Walk according to each pantries needs.  Usually three to four boxes of food are received and meet a big need in this community.

Another enhancement targeted to instill the sense of community in the Holland/Zeeland CROP Hunger Walk is a large sign in banner that each person is asked to autograph under their church/organizations name.  Nearly 1,000 people walked, and to see all their names written on this huge banner gives people an idea of the many people they walk alongside in their own community as well as the global community.  

Other enhancements to this year’s Walk included the prayer ribbons Walkers were encouraged to create following registration that blow in the wind during the Walk; seed packets that were given to each Walker prior to the Walk which symbolized the efforts we share culminating in a bountiful harvest for those in need; and a $15.15 per Walker gift by a few donors in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the Holland/Zeeland CROP Hunger Walk.

 

Remembering to Say Thank You

We cannot begin to express our heartfelt gratitude for every Church/Organization/Group, every Walker, every Recruiter, every Coordinator, Treasurer, and Committee Member who has partnered with Church World Service.

Walkers
Walkers, Recruiters and Committee Members of the 2009 Livonia, MI, CROP Hunger Walk. Thank you Livonia for 26 years of successful CROP Hunger Walking!
Photo: John Hirtzel/Livonia

We cannot begin to express our heartfelt gratitude for every church/organization/group, every Walker, every recruiter, every coordinator, treasurer, and committee member who has partnered with Church World Service.  By walking, recruiting, coordinating, inviting, educating and informing, and most of all raising funds for the life-giving ministry of CWS, you have made a difference in countless lives.  For your service and dedication, we thank you and we pray abundant blessings on you and your families.

In the same token, we ask you too to thank your sponsors and major donors, your communities’ businesses who donate or sponsor in various ways, your Pastors and Ministerial Committees, your Community Leaders, Police and Fire Departments, your Teachers, Parents, Photographers, Newspaper Editors/Reporters, and all who provide support and encouragement in any way.  A simple word of thanks, a thank you card, and/or gift/token of appreciation goes a long way in showing gratitude and ensuring that people know that their service and gift-giving is valued.

Thank you once again for partnering with Church World Service and by God’s grace, we pray for more years of communities walking and working together in service of one another and those most in need.

 

Walkers, Recruiters and Committee Members of the 2009 Livonia, MI, CROP Hunger Walk. Thank you Livonia for 26 years of successful CROP Hunger Walking!Photo: John Hirtzel/Livonia

Blooming Hunger Walk in Blossomland

It's spring! That means CROP Hunger Walks are blooming across the country blossoms of hope in a landscape of hunger.

Pioneer Memorial Church Pathfinder Club members
Some Pioneer Memorial Church Pathfinder Club members joined the Blossomland CROP Hunger Walk. Photo: Pastor Esther Knott
members of Pioneer Memorial Church
Young and old members of Pioneer Memorial Church participated in the Blossomland CROP Hunger Walk. Photo: Pastor Esther Knott

It's spring!  That means CROP Hunger Walks are blooming across the country  blossoms of hope in a landscape of hunger.

The Blossomland CROP Hunger Walk of St. Joseph, Michigan, has been blooming for more than 25 years, reaching out to neighbors in need around the corner and around the world.  Last year's Walk was Blossomland's best ever, as they topped the $50,000 mark in funds raised.  Blossomland's 2010 event happened on May 16, and early indications are they may top 2009!

While the spring CROP Hunger Walk season will soon be coming to a close, plans for fall Walks are well underway.  To find the CROP Hunger Walk in your area, please visit www.cropwalkonline.org.  

If you are a CROP Hunger Walk coordinator and have additional details about your upcoming CROP Hunger Walk that you would like to have included on the Walk's page on our website, please send them to webwalk@churchworldservice.org. Thanks!

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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From memories of hunger, a steadfast commitment to CWS

Pearl Veronis walks because she knows something of hunger first hand. "We did survive," Veronis recalled recently as she prepared for her 38th CROP Hunger Walk in Lancaster, Penn., and spoke of her experiences as a child during World War II in Greece, where she and her family knew the realities of hunger, starvation and deprivation.

Alexander and Pearl Veronis
Pearl and Rev. Alexander Veronis

By Chris Herlinger

Lancaster, PA – Pearl Veronis walks because she knows something of hunger first hand.

"We did survive," Veronis recalled recently as she prepared for her 38th CROP Hunger Walk in Lancaster, Penn., and spoke of her experiences as a child during World War II in Greece, where she and her family knew the realities of hunger, starvation and deprivation.

"My mother had to beg for food," Veronis said, recalling that her mother also put sheets over windows so her children would not wake during the day and ask for food.

Luckily, her family – separated during the war, with her father in the United States – reunited in the US in 1945, when Veronis was 11 years old. She credits her mother's determination, grit and religious faith for the family's survival.

But the memory of hunger still touches her – and is one of the reasons she and her husband, the Rev. Alexander Veronis, a Greek Orthodox priest, have been steadfast supporters and leaders of their CROP Hunger Walk in Lancaster. Alexander and Pearl Veronis have been serving the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Lancaster for almost 49 years.

The Rev. Veronis has chaired the annual CROP Hunger Walk in Lancaster since the early 1970s – though it is clear in talking to the Veronises recently at the church that theirs has been a true partnership, a partnership that has helped raise nearly $4.2 million since 1973.

"It's been a blessing for us to see how many persons have been helped through the Walks, locally and internationally," the Rev. Veronis said.

That partnership has been recognized locally and nationally; Church World Service created "The Father Alexander and Pearl Veronis Hunger Fund,” in honor of the couple.

But it is still the work locally that matters.  The Veronises are pleased that 25 percent of funds raised remain in local Lancaster-area food banks to stop hunger.

They are also pleased that their five children, in-laws and grandchildren enthusiastically support the CROP Hunger Walk.

In fact, CROP has been a foundation for the mission work and commitment of one of their children, the Rev. Luke Veronis, who recently became director of the newly established “Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity” at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass.

While the walks in Lancaster have shorted in length – earlier CROP Hunger Walks included 15- and 20-mile routes – Pearl Veronis said the commitment matters more than "the number of miles walked."

CROP Hunger Walks in Lancaster attract between1,200 to 1,800 persons annually.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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