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Crop Walk looking for walkers

Recruiters for the Clare County CROP Hunger Walk picked up their recruitment packets at the walk rally on Sunday, August 5, at Clare Assembly of God Church on Colonville Rd. Recruiters will begin signing up walkers for the CROP Walk to be held on Sunday, September 30, starting from St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 106 E. Wheaton St., Clare. Registration for the 2 and ½ mile walk begins at 1:30 p.m.

Carol Stuhr, Recruitment Chairperson, opened the meeting and introduced Bob Barnhart, Church World Service (CWS) Regional Director, who offered prayer. Two representatives from local agencies receiving funds from the walk spoke at the walk rally: Sue Foltz from the Clare County Baby Pantry, housed in the basement of the First Congregational Church in Harrison expressed appreciation for the CROP Walk’s financial support. The baby pantry, open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., serves on average 50 families a week. Two food items are given out per family each week, plus formula when available. Donated clothing, furniture and other items are given out as available. Ten diapers, which cost the pantry approximately $500 a month, are given out per week for each child under age three. The pantry is a 501C3 agency driven by need and recipients are required to have a bridge card and be eligible for food stamps. Churches, organizations, businesses, and individuals support the pantry with their time, money and donated items. The need is great and volunteers and donations are always welcome. Call 989-935-9425 with questions.

Nancy Sullivan from Love, INC (In the Name of Christ) told about the three pantries coordinated through Love, INC. Love INC, a national organization, was formed locally in 2010 with a network of fifteen churches in Clare County. Love, INC performs needed services not available through other agencies. Needs being filled in Clare County beside the food pantries are furniture, transportation, caring, laundry and handyman services. Sullivan also expressed appreciation for the financial support from CROP Walk funds. Number of families served by the three Love, INC food pantries since January 2012 are as follows: The Gathering in Harrison -239 ; Clare Church of the Nazarene – 28; Farwell Church of Christ – 7. Call 989-588-8990. with questions.

Barnhart spoke about the ways CWS has helped in disaster relief and development in 80 countries around the world (including the U.S.) with the help of CROP Walk funds. Barnhart said that 550,000 children die every year from malaria and highlighted the need for repellent-treated mosquito nets. The $270,000 Clare CROP Walks have raised since their beginning would be enough to purchase insect repellent-treated mosquito nets to protect more than 108,000 people in malaria infested areas, saving many children’s lives, Barnhart said. Another example given, Clare County CROP Hunger Walk raised over $11,000 last year on their walk, and that money would be sufficient to buy 225,000 lunches for school-age children living in refugee camps on the Burmese-Thailand border. He showed pins displaying the theme “Ending Hunger One Step at a Time,” which will be awarded to walkers raising $150. CWS also works with community groups in Guatemala, and Barnhart passed out colorful woven bookmarks made by one of the groups of indigenous women for income production. These bookmarks will be given to the walker on each team raising the most funds.

Those who would like to join a team to walk and help overcome hunger may contact Recruitment Chairperson Carol Stuhr at 989-539-7910, or Publicity Chairperson Sandra Campbell at 989-424-6288. Walkers may form their own team with their friends, business acquaintances, relatives, or neighbors, or walk as an individual. They may go online at www.cropwalkonline.org/claremito form or join a team or get sponsors. Walkers only need to donate as little as $5 to be part of a team. All teams should provide a sign or a shirt to be worn to identify the team at the walk. There will be no trophy for the top team this year, so that expense money may go to help people in need. There will, however, be pizza at Buccilli’s Pizza in Clare for the top team raising the most funds. Smaller prizes will be given to teams placing second and third. More teams and individual walkers are still needed.

Walkers may choose to walk their dog in the walk and collect donations in his/her name instead of their own. Top dog in collecting donations will receive a $20 gift certificate from Johnston’s Elevator. There will be a light lunch served before and after the walk. Tee shirts with a CROP logo will be sold for $10, and drawings will be held.

Call Carol Stuhr, phone 989-539-7910, or Sandra Campbell, 989-424-6288, for a sponsor record, with questions, or to volunteer your help.