Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills Churches Join Together To Fight Hunger
More than 300 people walked three miles in Sunday's CROP Walk.
About 300 people from Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills took to the streets to help fight hunger on Sunday. Residents took part in the annual 5K CROP Walk through Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills. The event raises about $20,000 a year to eliminate hunger worldwide.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be given to HCS Family Services in Hinsdale, which operates two food pantries. Susan Fritz, executive director of HCS Family Services, said she appreciates the generosity of the CROP Walk participants. "The CROP Walk is a wonderful event. It helps our food pantries serve people dealing with poverty [in DuPage County]. Seventy-five percent of the funds will be donated overseas.
This year's CROP Walk was hosted by Christ Lutheran Church in Clarendon Hills, a role that is taken on by a different area church each year. Pastor John Hildner praised Church World Service for its hands-on approach to eliminating hunger. "They develop relations and partner with the people they help," he said. "The CROP Walk helps in raising the consciousness of the community."
Marie Friedhe of Christ Lutheran spoke with participants about the significance of the walk's length. "It is three miles long because that is the distance some people need to go to get water," she said.
Friedhe thanked the volunteers who took time to "chalk the walk" in the days before the event. They wrote words of encouragement in sidewalk chalk along the CROP Walk route, which inspired those who live along the route to do the same.
Walkers also carried bags of candy with them to hand out to children along the walk. The gift bags contained information on how to get involved with Church World Service.
Jean Albert, a 10-year participant in the CROP Walk and a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Hinsdale, said the walk impressed upon her how one person's efforts can make a difference. "I used to feel like if it was just me walking, I couldn't help much," she said, "but that's one more person who won't starve. All of us are one, but together we can make a difference."
Jeannette Tamayo, who attends Christ Lutheran Church, took part in the walk for the first time this year. She said she was impressed with the amount of high schoolers and local businesses committing their time to the walk, and the number of families who signed up together. "I decided to do whatever I could to help at the CROP Walk," said Tamayo, who helped with registration before walking. "Christ Lutheran is so invested in the community that I wanted to be as well."
The CROP Walk has been active in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills for more than 20 years. It involves members from nearly a dozen area churches of various denominations. Steve Landis, chair of the local walk and a member of Hinsdale United Methodist Church, believes that the churches coming together makes the CROP Walk a one-of-a-kind event. "The CROP Walk gets us out in our community to help the worldwide community," he said.