This year, over sixteen area churches, including Angel Ministries, Church of the Brethren, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Grace United Methodist Church, Lakeside Lutheran Church, Our Savior Lutheran Church, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, South Venice Baptist Church, Suncoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church, The Center of Hope, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Venice-Nokomis United Methodist Church, Venice United Church of Christ, Venice Presbyterian Church, and local organizations including Venice Area Mobile Meals, Inc., Venice Kiwanis club, Laurel Civic Association, Inc. and Girl Scout troop 157 are each organizing teams to participate and promote the event.
“We see good representation of our organizational CROP Walk coordinators this year, but our success will ultimately depend on our local citizens and neighbors that choose to either sign up to walk with us, participate in fundraising efforts and/or sponsor a walker or team with a donation to CWS/CROP in this great cause”, reports Venice coordinator Joseph Franco.
Sponsored by Church World Services (CWS), CROP Walks take place throughout the year across the United States. In 2012, 1,424 walks across the United States raised $13.4 M to fight hunger around the world.
Last year, approximately 565 Venice area walkers raised more than $58,000 in its John Clay Memorial CROP Hunger Walk. Donations were made in 2012 to South County Food Pantry, Venice Area Mobile Meals, Inc., Trinity Presbyterian CAM, Center of Hope and Laurel Civic Association, Inc. Venice Presbyterian Church represented the largest team with 100 walkers, followed by Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd with 65 walkers. Funds raised in the 2012 Venice CROP Hunger Walk were a significant drop in community support from the $78,000 raised in 2011. Local coordinators hope to return to a higher level of community support as seen in prior years.
“We live in a world where it appears there is enough for all of us, yet hunger persists” says Venice Coordinator Joseph Franco. “With a spirited approach, and God’s help, we can make a major contribution in this problem around the world.” The community is urged to join together and support the Venice CROP Hunger Walk to do its part, to end hunger one step at a time.
Many of the CROP Walkers will be wearing T-shirts, proclaiming their solidarity with the millions of neighbors around the world who have to walk to live -- as well as with the millions served by local food pantries, food banks, and meal sites here in the U.S. These local ministries, organizations and agencies share in the funds raised by CROP Hunger Walks.
It’s more than just providing food, but by helping to attain self-sufficiency with efforts to grow drought resistant crops, drilling of artesian wells, adult literacy and vocational training, learning techniques to eliminate water pollution, learning skills to start a new business, and welcoming refugees and helping them achieve self-sufficiency.
Haiti is one part of the world where CROP Hunger Walks are making a big difference. In the aftermath of the killer earthquake, Church World Service was there with much-needed emergency assistance. With the recovery effort in full swing, CWS is helping families and communities to rebuild homes, food supplies and livelihoods.
CROP Hunger Walks also play a role in the U.S., helping communities ravaged by floods and tornadoes to recover. In 2012, CWS/CROP provided second level support to communities in New York and New Jersey hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, to help in recovery efforts which provided recovery kits – such as Hygiene Kits, School Kits, Baby Care Kits, and Emergency Clean-up Buckets – that make a world of difference in emergency situations or areas of ongoing great need.
“We realize the daunting challenge to fight hunger, however we are inspired by our faith and by the astounding changes that are happening in communities here and around the world by their own efforts, and with a little support from us” stated local coordinator Joseph Franco.. “Let’
There is enough for everyone!
Changing the formula begins with YOU, ME and a SUCCESSFUL CROP WALK! Please sign up and enjoy the thrill of helping our less fortunate friends and neighbors.
The final organizer’s meeting prior to the 2013 Venice CROP Walk will be held Monday evening, February 11, 2013 at the Center of Hope, 1216 E Venice Ave, at 7:00 p.m. Team organizers are asked to pick-up T-shirts at the same location on February 6, between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.
For more information about the John Clay Memorial CROP Hunger Walk, contact local coordinator Joseph Franco at (941) 492-4470. Donations may be given to a CROP Hunger Walk team, walker or sent directly by a check payable to CWS/CROP and mailed to: Joseph Franco, 1728 San Silvestro Drive, Venice, FL 34825. Individuals may sign up to walk or donate to the CROP Hunger Walk by contacting one of the participating organizations, or on the Internet by visiting http://hunger.cwsglobal.org/
About John Witherspoon Clay (1939 – 1995)
Born in Brazil, John Clay completed his higher education in the United States, with a BA degree from Randolph-Macon College, and a MA degree from Columbia University. He had a life-long career as a Missionary, Christian Educator and Minister, in Brazil, New Mexico and Florida. As a Venice resident since 1984, John Clay was the Director of Christian Education at the Grace United Methodist Church from 1984 to 1993 and served as Diaconal Minister to Adults from 1993 until his death in 1995. John Clay organized the first Venice CROP Walk over 25 years ago. Since his death, the local Venice CROP Walk has become known as the John Clay Memorial CROP Hunger Walk.
CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service (CWS) and organized by local volunteers to raise funds to end hunger. CWS works with partners to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world. CWS is active in more than 30 countries globally and is a member of the ACT Alliance and InterAction. Donations to CWS/CROP are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. For more information visit http://www.cwsglobal.org.