October 16, 2016

Los Altos Ministry News

The CROP Walk Story

Church World Service (CWS) was founded in 1946. At the time, ‘CROP’ stood for Christian Rural Overseas Program. Its primary mission was to help Midwest farmers share their grain with post-WWII Europe and Asia. The first CROP Hunger Walk was on October 17, 1969, in Bismarck, North Dakota. Most people don’t know that the CROP Hunger Walk was THE original walk to raise money for charity!!! The acronym ‘CROP’ was later changed to Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, but now only stands as an historical reminder that crops feed hungry people.

Today, Church World Service works in partnership with other established faith-based and secular organizations worldwide to accomplish their mission. This makes it easier and more efficient to disburse funds and goods where they are needed in a timely manner and with relatively low overhead costs (16%). The money raised in these fundraising walks provides not only food and water, but other resources needed to empower people to meet their own needs…like seeds & tools, wells & water systems, technical training, and micro-enterprise loans. In the U.S., Church World Service assists communities in responding to disasters, resettling refugees, promoting fair governmental policies, and much more. CWS now has the added priority of responding to the refugee crisis of millions of people fleeing war-torn countries, especially in the Middle East.

CROP Walks are held nation-wide and in Canada. Of the money sent to Church World Service from each walk, 25% is returned to the walk’s pre-determined food-providing agencies. In the Long Beach area, there are 6: Christian Outreach in Action (COA), Lutheran Social Services, Su Casa Family Crisis & Support Center, “We Care” of Los Alamitos, Catholic Charities and – newly added – Urban Community Outreach (UCO), which is a Sunday-afternoon homeless drop-in center at 1st Congregational Church in downtown Long Beach. Along with CWS, the Long Beach walk is co-sponsored by the South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC). Note: The first Long Beach CROP Walk was in the spring of 1976, so we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary Walk this year!

See the article in the announcements about the Long Beach CROP Hunger Walk on October 23rd . For more information on the local walk, please call Walk Chair, Dale Whitney, at (562) 433-3881. Margo Berdanis, LAUMC Walk coordinator