On Sunday, October 3, masses of shivering community members braved the cold to take a stand against world hunger with the CROP Walk. The acronym CROP actually stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty and the annual community event is part of a national fund-raiser created to help support the Church World Service (CWS) in their effort to assist impoverished countries through community-based initiatives and provide disaster relief to those in need.
The walk is sponsored by local area churches and centered around the theme “We walk because they walk” and participants want to raise not just money, but awareness. Delaware community members Brian and Linda Tustian are four-year veteran participants in the walk from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and they share their thoughts on the importance of the event.
“We don’t know how blessed we are,”says Linda. According to CWS, an entire month’s worth of emergency provisions for a family of five costs only $72 and in some countries people walk as many as six miles for basic necessities such as food and water.
“We want to help people in need, Africa or wherever,” says Brian. Brian lived in Kenya for a few years during his youth and stresses the need to “prove we’re doing something.” Next year, the Tustians plan to carry a bucket to symbolize the burden of those living in impoverished countries and further increase awareness.
Sue Pasters, Ohio Wesleyan’s director of community service, was excited by the turnout and what it says about community commitment.
“This year’s CROP Walk was surprisingly well-attended despite the adverse weather conditions, and the number of competing events happening on campus and in the community,” says Pasters. “Clearly there is a strong core group of Delaware churches and individuals who are deeply committed to this event and the work of Church World Service.”