CROP Walk expected to finish with about $8,500Published 9:03am Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The morning of Sunday, Oct. 4, wanted to suppress the excitement with rain, wind and cold, but it could not dampen spirits and determination as 143 walkers left First United Methodist Church of Dowagiac to “walk because they walk.”
As their shoes pounded the sidewalk, their enthusiasm seemed to chase the clouds away, allowing the sun to break through.
CROP – Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty – is sponsored by Church World Service (CWS), an international relief, development and refugee resettlement agency.
CROP hunger walks are community fund-raising events in which individuals, churches and various organizations in the communities around the world seek to bring awareness of and walk in solidarity with those who must walk long distances for the basic necessities of life: food and water.
“Funds turned in on Sunday, this year totaling over $4,200, usually represent about half of the total for the year. So we’re expecting somewhere around $8,500,” shared John Kasper, co-chair of this year’s event and pastor of First United Methodist Church.
“Of the finds we collect, 75 percent will be distributed around the world. But, 25 percent will remain right here in Cass County. In the first part of the new year Feed My Sheep food pantry in Dowagiac, Helping Hands pantry and assistance program in Cassopolis, Edwardsburg Emergency Fund, Salvation Army/CURE in Dowagiac and Simeon’s Hope, a homeless assistance program in Dowagiac, will each receive a cut of that 25 percent.”
Last year, a traveling “Heavenly Hightops” trophy, a large, size-18, white-and-yellow athletic shoe donated by Underwood Shoes of Dowagiac, was introduced as a means of bringing some friendly competition and fun to the walk.
The Pokagon United Methodist Church was recognized in the opening ceremonies as the church or organization that raised the most money in the 2008 Walk.
This year’s winner is yet to be determined.
The real winners, of course, are those who will benefit from the funds raised to overcome poverty.
New this year, several local businesses sponsored CROP Walk T-shirts so every walker could not only wear it during the walk, but also continue to get the word out about the need to overcome poverty in our county and around the world.
Appreciation goes to McLauchlin Clark Funeral Home, Harding’s Market of Dowagiac, Eckman Chiropractic Clinic, Mahar Insurance, KGB Construction, Midwest Energy, Preferred Printing, Upstream Waters Landscaping, Connelly Funeral Home, Fifth Third Bank and Dowagiac Commercial Press.
Poverty and its affects are especially felt as the cold returns but, sadly, is a reality all year long.
Leaders of the 2009 Cass County Area CROP Walk encourage you to support the agencies in our county that provide assistance to those in need.