Western Springs walkers enthusiastic about CROP effort
The Rev. Dean Shapley of First United Methodist Church of Western Springs hands out pins to representative from the different organizations participating in the CROP walk. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:12AM
WESTERN SPRINGS — Eight-year-old Carly Booth didn’t mind taking a long walk with her mom, Kami, and 11-year-old brother, Tanner.
Those three members of the Booth family from Burr Ridge, who belong to the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, walked together Sunday with more than 200 other people for 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles.
It was all part of the La Grange/Western Springs/Brookfield CROP Hunger Walk hosted by United Methodist Church in Western Springs.
CROP Hunger Walks help to support the overall ministry of Church World Service, especially grassroots, hunger-fighting development efforts around the world. Each local CROP Hunger Walk can choose to return up to 25 percent of the funds it raises to programs in its own community.
“I like to walk, and I really wanted to help hungry people who need food,” Carly said. “People need food; it’s necessary to live.”
Tanner said he enjoys running and figured a 3.1-mile walk also was good for keeping in shape.
“And being able to help people who are hungry makes it even better,” he said.
Kami Booth said she wanted her children to participate because it’s important for them to learn about giving back to the community.
Jan Matheny, coordinator of the walk, said the 2011 effort raised $17,000. She didn’t know Sunday the total amount raised for 2012, but was hopeful it would be more than a year ago.
Donations still can be made online.
While the more than 200 walkers made their way around parts of Western Springs, sixth-graders Mary Clare Garvey, Mary Okkema, Mira Burens, Pilar Valdo and Danielle Dahill of the St. Cletus Girl Scout Troop 1117 organized donated food to be sent to five different food pantries.
“We’re doing this because we want to help people who need food, so they don’t starve to death,” Mary Clare said.
When CROP began in 1947, it was an acronym for the Christian Rural Overseas Program, according to information from Church World Service. The primary mission was to help Midwest farm families share their grain with hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. While the program has expanded, the name was kept.