Sunday, November 1, 2009

CROP Hunger Walk in Lincoln Park, NJ on 10/25/09

Lincoln Park NJ CROP Walk ItineraryLast Sunday 10/25/09, Emma & I participated in a CROP Hunger Walk which took place in Lincoln Park, NJ. Our friend, Mary Ellen O'Connor Shyne invited us to take part in the event and help represent Kinnelon's Our Lady of the Magnificat.

Having never done a CROP Walk before, I wasn't sure what to expect other than a walk.

The day was beyond description beautiful. We headed off to the meeting point, St. Joseph's Church in Lincoln Park, NJ and joined 350 other walkers. We opted for the three mile circuit [pictured above] which, given the flat, suburban setting with sidewalks [compared to our Kinnelon walks], was delightfully pleasant!

Furthermore, we saw Ron and Theresa Anderson and their children and got to walk with Bob, Bernadette and Kathleen Morrisroe. Emma was thrilled to pieces to be with her friend, and I really enjoyed the conversation with her parents.

Lincoln Park NJ CROP Walk 20 year anniversaryThe first CROP Hunger Walk took place in 1969 and it is "viewed by many as the granddaddy of charity walks," notes the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 26, 2009). [Here is a link to the article titled "A charity event that always hits its stride."] This one just celebrated its 21st anniversary.

Mary Ellen who has coordinated our event for the past 3 or 4 years took on the role from OLM's Sister Ellen Denise O'Connor who got OLM involved 13 years ago.

Several times at the onset of the event, we were reminded that "we walk because they walk" to find water, and other critical resources. Powerful words.

Lincoln Park NJ CROP Walk 15 year anniversaryEspecially since we don't really have to do much physically to get our water. Just turn a faucet on! Or, get into our cars to obtain other staples...

As a child, I lived in West Africa, in Senegal and in Ivory Coast. I remember seeing people - particularly women - walking significant distances to get to a well or get firewood or food and supplies. More often than not, they walked with a baby on their backs and precious heavy cargo balanced on their heads. And, yet, they walked gracefully, strongly and persistently.

CROP Walk events are ecumenical, inter-faith, multi-cultural and all about local community, with 25% of the funds raised go to help hunger-fighting programs in local communities.Mary Ellen O'Connor Shyne having her CROP sign pinned on

Powerfully appealing when you realize that not very far from us, practically in our backyards, is Patterson, NJ, one of the most densely populated and poorest cities in the country.

The CROP Hunger Walk in Lincoln Park brought together 351 walkers who raised $17,000.

Kinnelon had about 25 participants and raised $2,000.
The CROP sign in place
When Emma and I arrived at St. Joseph's we proceeded to the basement meeting room where we were immediately greeted by CROP Hunger Walk organizers. They pinned onto our backs red cloth octagons with the walk emblem [note the strong resemblance to a Stop sign!].

When the walk was done, we returned our signs so they could be used for the next CROP Hunger Walk.

Emma and I had a great time.

I encourage you to learn more about CROP and to consider participating in future CROP events starting in Spring 2010 or even next Fall's Lincoln Park event. Help Stop Hunger: join in on a CROP Hunger Walk!

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Jersey City CROP Walk Committee said...

Thank you for walking in the Annual CROP Hunger Walk. Peace, Marie

CB Whittemore said...

Marie, thanks for putting on such a terrific event. I look forward to next year. Best, Christine

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