Images and news from Haiti are troubling. Conditions in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince remain critical, if not dire, and it is difficult to know how to respond. But last year on May 3, the 435 participants in the CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk raised more than $66,000, a good portion of which is already at work in Haiti.

While 25 percent of funds raised last year in the CROP Walk – known as Hunger Walkathon West in our area – went to local agencies to fund their fight against hunger, the rest enables Church World Service, which sponsors the CROP Walks, to implement self-help development projects and respond to disasters across the United States and around the world. Church World Service is already on the ground in Haiti, getting aid to those in need.

The service is also supporting the Action by Churches Together coalition’s distribution of food and tents, jerry cans, water, water purifiers, sanitation equipment and hygiene supplies to 15,000 people in eight communities outside the capital. In addition to a medical team, they are providing a team of water engineers to address water sanitation.

As the coordinator of Hunger Walkathon West, I want to let everyone in our communities know about the good work the money we raised last year is already doing in Haiti, and to invite you to participate in this year’s CROP Hunger Walk on May 2. Long after Haiti disappears from the headlines, CROP Walkers will be raising money to fund the recovery that will take years to accomplish.

Pat Eichenold
CROP Hunger Walkathon West coordinator

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