CROP walk helps thousands

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

In this year of rising gas and food prices, as well as divisive national political campaigns, one thing cuts across the board. People in our country and around the world are going hungry every day and don’t have clean water or a roof over their heads. In spite of the financial crisis in our country, most of us are pretty well off by comparison to others around the world. The CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk is an avenue to address these concerns from a grass-roots level. This organization has provided support for victims of hurricanes and fires in California, among other valuable efforts.

The following organizations in Los Alamos are taking part in our fundraising efforts: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, Los Alamos Jewish Center, Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, Unitarian Church, and United Church. Given there are approximately 30 churches in Los Alamos, we’d sure like to see more church involvement. We also encourage individuals to join us! Please contact Aaron Goldman at 662-5959 or apgoldman@swcp.com or Lynn Wysocki-Smith at tewapack@rt66.com.

When all the money is collected a check is sent to Church World Service (CWS), the overarching organization coordinating CROP.

Additionally, you don’t have to do the walk (bad weather, illness, being out of town, etc.) to collect money or make a donation. If you care to join the walkers, you can show up at the middle school (the start and finish points), a half-hour before start time.

Goldman has taken mission trips to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to see first-hand what CROP is doing and has been impressed with what he’s seen and is available to give a talk.

The 11th Annual CROP Walk/Turkey Trot sponsored by LA Cares and the Atomic City Roadrunners will be held Sunday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. Sandwiches, drinks and desserts will be available to those doing the 2.57 miles. Participants can predict their times and at least 30 turkeys and 20 pumpkin pies will be awarded to the top predictors. Donors contributing $10 or more will receive a T-shirt. Last year we had approximately 185 runners and walkers and hope to see more turnout this year. We are grateful to the people who donated and gathered funds, as we raised over $12,000 in 2007, which is the most money ever raised in Los Alamos for the CROP Walk.

There are some 2,000 CROP Walks that raised nearly $27 million to help support CWS, an ecumenical foundation that helps in times of disaster and needs in some 80 countries. CWS volunteered help in setting up relief here in Los Alamos after the 2000 fire. If you choose not to support CWS, you have a choice of many other charities, such as the Mormon, Catholic, and Jewish charities. One-fourth of the collection will stay in Los Alamos, supporting LA Cares, an organization that helps needy Los Alamos families.

For seven other CROP Hunger Walk coordinators