The 25th annual CROP Walk will be held this Saturday in Bethany Beach, starting at the bandstand at 11 a.m. The event will kick off with the Nautical Sounds providing entertainment. The actual walk starts at noon, and afterwards there will be refreshments offered at Bethany Beach Christian Church downtown.
The participants will be raising awareness and funds to change the world in “real and measurable ways.” According to the Web site of Church World Service — an organization whose overall work and ministry is benefitted by CROP Hunger Walks — that means raising funds for digging wells that will bring clean water to villages; providing seeds and tools so that people can grow their own food; and helping communities and families rebuild after disaster.
“It really helps them be sustainable,” said Rosemary Hendrix, a local organizer of the event. She noted that, while Church World Service is working internationally, 25 percent of money raised in the CROP Walks stays in the community, and for the May 11 walk, the local portion will go to the Pyle Center.
“This is the 25th annual CROP walk in our area,” said Hendrix. “We have about 18 local churches involved, and it could be more. It’s open to civic organizations. It’s open to everybody.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, in 2005 — the most recent year that data was available for water usage — Americans used about 410 billion gallons per day in several categories, including public supply, domestic, irrigation, livestock, aquaculture, industrial, mining and thermoelectric power.
For about 86 percent of Americans, drinking water comes from a public or municipal water supply straight into the faucet, and for the remaining 14 percent, water flows from a private well into the home.
That is not the case globally.
“Nothing survives without water,” said Marianne Smith, a member of Millville Methodist Church — one of the member churches in the Southeastern Sussex Ministerium that will participate in the 25th annual CROP Walk in Bethany Beach. She noted that elementary-aged school children and women often still walk for long distances to get less-than-stellar water for their families and communities.
To donate or to learn more about forming a team, walking or sponsoring a walker or team, visit the Web site at www.churchworldservice.org and click on the CROP Hunger Walk link. To get a church, organization or neighborhood involved, or for more information, contact Rosemary Hendrix at (302) 537-9417.