Take the first step: Barrington Area CROP Walk fights hunger locally, globally
The Barrington Area CROP Walk is in its 39th year. In that time, the fundraiser has raised more than $1 million to help feed the hungry and bring basic necessities to those in need.
While the walk's main sponsor, Church World Service, brings charity to the global community, 25% of the funds raised stay local, which makes this fundraising event even more important.
This year's walk takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, starting at Salem United Methodist Church, 115 W. Lincoln, Barrington. Registration is at 12:30 p.m.
Walkers are asked to get sponsors to raise funds for this worthwhile cause, and organizers are asking those who can't make it that day to help by donating online at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/barringtonil; click on "donate."
Linda Osikowicz, an organizer for the event, discusses how the walk benefits the local community and how to get involved.
Q: Tell us about the Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk. Give a brief overview of who you serve.
A: Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk is a community event to raise awareness and funds to help end hunger locally and around the world.
It is sponsored by Church World Service and organized by committee members from various churches and organizations in the Barrington area.
Celebrating 75 years of mission work, Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.
In 1946-47, U.S. churches opened their hearts and provided more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing, and medical supplies to war-torn Europe and Asia. Various denominations pooled talent and resources to meet a staggering refugee crisis and created a joint community hunger appeal, the Christian Rural Overseas Program, also known as CROP.
The acronym is gone, but the name and lifesaving work remains as CROP Hunger Walks.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the Barrington Area Walk are dispersed to hunger-alleviating agencies in the Barrington area.
Q: Where do the majority of your donations come from?
A: Most donations come from the walkers. Each walker asks friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, etc. to sponsor them. Many of our walkers are from the sponsoring churches, and donations are from fellow members. But, because of online giving (which is encouraged), sponsors can be all across the country!
Q: How many people per year do you serve?
A: We serve countless individuals and families. Through the walk, we serve the Barrington Area -- organizations that work to alleviate hunger -- plus Church World Service and their programs, which are national and worldwide in 30 countries.
It's difficult to know how many are helped locally, but we know that many people continue to turn to food pantries due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
Twenty-five percent of the funds raised stays in our area to benefit the Northern Illinois Food Bank, FISH Food Pantry-Carpentersville, BACOA Meals With Wheels, Wauconda-Island Lake Food Pantry, United Partnership for a Better Community Summer Lunch Program in Wauconda, Project HOPE, and the People in Need program of the Barrington Area Ministerial Association.
Q: Tell us about the Barrington Area CROP Walk.
A: Salem United Methodist Church, 115 W. Lincoln, Barrington, is the site of this year's walk on Sunday, Oct. 10. At the present time, the walk is being planned as an in-person event.
Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and our "send-off" is at 1 p.m. There are two marked routes: a one-mile Golden Mile and a 5-mile route, both on sidewalks through the village, though walkers do not need to complete the entire walk.
We will be following any COVID precautions that are applicable at the time. Anyone who wishes to walk on their own is welcome to do so at a time and place that is convenient for them.
For details, visit events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/barringtonil. It's also easy to sign up to walk and donate; you and your team members can make donations by credit card or PayPal.
Q: How can people participate?
A: Individuals are encouraged to register as walkers at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/barringtonil.
A walker can register as a member of a team, start a team, or register individually. Then, walkers are invited to contact "sponsors," individuals who will make a donation to the CROP Walk.
Those looking to make a donation can search for a favorite walker or team, or just make a donation to the walk itself via the above link.
Online donations are recommended. Beginning Oct. 1, all online donations will be matched up to $3,750, thanks to a charitable foundation, so this is a great way to participate and fight hunger!
Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the event?
A: Individuals may be walkers, but sponsors -- or donations -- are needed as well! The best way is to go to events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/barringtonil and click on "donate."
Students at Barrington High School have arranged some restaurant fundraisers. Diners at Chipotle in Kildeer on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 4-8 p.m. will have 33% of the proceeds donated to CROP Walk.
Q: What else would you like readers to know?
A: In its 38-year history in Barrington, more than 13,310 walkers have raised over $1.59 million. In 2020, the Barrington Area Walk raised more than $30,000, making it the 48th highest in the country (out of nearly 600 walks).
The motto "Ending Hunger One Step at a Time" reminds us that we walk in spirit with those who must walk to get water to wash their hands, to find food for their families or to have a safe place for their children.
Hunger increased in this past year. The United Nations estimates that 10% of the global population was undernourished last year -- up from 8.4% in 2019.
Church World Service has adapted and changed through the years and is now an international relief, development, and refugee resettlement agency. It works to alleviate hunger, fight poverty, respond to those needing disaster relief, and provide clean water, training for best agricultural practices, maternal health, etc.
Today, the Immigration and Refugee Program of CWS is a vital, internationally-recognized operation, having resettled nearly half a million refugees since its inception.
CWS began damage and needs assessment the day after the earthquake that hit Haiti on Aug. 22, focusing on the community of Pestel. They are surveying needs and working toward supporting a health center, providing trauma and emotional recovery, shelter, hygiene kits, and emergency repairs to critical community infrastructure.
For more information about Church World Service, visit cwsglobal.org.
CROP Walks around the suburbs
Here are more CROP Walks around the suburbs:
Antioch: UMC of Antioch CROP Hunger Walk at noon Sunday, Oct. 24. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/antiochil.
Barrington: Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at Salem United Methodist Church, 115 W. Lincoln Ave. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/barringtonil.
Bartlett: Virtual Northwest DuPage United CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 17. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/northwestdupageunited.
Crystal Lake: McHenry County CROP Hunger Walk at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at Living Waters Lutheran Church, 1808 Miller Road. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/mchenrycounty.
Downers Grove: South DuPage CROP Hunger Walk at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 4501 Main St. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/southdupage.
Elgin: Elgin CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 17, at Civic Plaza Elgin on Douglas Avenue. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/elginil.
Glen Ellyn: Virtual Glen Ellyn/Wheaton Area CROP Hunger Walk no through Sept. 30. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/glenellynil.
Lombard: Great Prairie Trail CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 3, at First Church of Lombard, 220 S. Main St. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/lombardil.
Naperville: Naperville Area CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 17. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/napervilleil.
Niles: Niles/Park Ridge CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 17. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/nilesil.
Northfield: Glenbrook CROP Hunger Walk at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at Northfield Community Church, 400 Wagner Road. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/glenbrook.
Waukegan: Virtual Northern Lake County CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 17. Sign up at events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/waukeganil.
39th annual Barrington Area CROP WalkWhen: 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10; registration at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Starts at Salem United Methodist Church, 115 W. Lincoln, Barrington
Cost: Participants are urged to raise funds by asking friends, family, colleagues, etc. for donations.
To register or make a donation: events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/barringtonil