CROP walk not a handout, it’s a helping hand

PLYMOUTH — People around the world have been touched by Marshall County residents for the past 27 years and this year was no exception.
The recently completed Church World Service CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk was able to raise a large amount of money once again this year to combat hunger all over the world. The original walk in Marshall County nearly three decades ago was organized by the Plymouth Church of the Brethren and they continue to be the central sponsor but there has been lots of help from other organizations over the years.
The Marshall County Ministerial Association – made up of church pastors from all over the county – along with ASK, the Adams Street Kids representing the combined youth groups of the First Methodist, St. Thomas Episcopal, United Church of Christ, First Presbyterian, and Church of the Brethren; and the CIA (Christians In Action) from the Lutheran Churches helped this year’s walk with participants and pledges making it another year of success.
“A few years ago the churches in Bremen got involved and they’ve made a big contribution,” said Dan Snider, the organizer of the walk for the past 13 years. “The great part is helping children and people all over the world.”
Thirty percent of the walkers were youth and children between the ages of 13 and 18. The total number of walkers was 104. The effort was able to raise $6,921.35 that was donated to Church World Service. Youth is close to Snider’s heart as it was his involvement with a sister program of CROP Walk — Heifer International — that started Snider’s involvement with helping others.
“When I was a boy we raised a dairy calf and sent it to a family overseas so they could have milk,” he said. “Programs like this help people have a world view, it helps them realize how they can help others all over the world and right here in Marshall County.”
“A few thousand dollars does not sound like much but in many of the third world countries 1.1 billion people live on less than a dollar a day, and 2.8 billion people live on less than two dollars a day. That is nearly half of the world population. Most are hungry — and they need more than a hand out.  They need a way out.”
In Cambodia, 90 families in 18 villages in Preah Vihear Province received seeds for planting gardens through Church World Service. They also learned to place fences around the gardens to keep animals from eating their crops. The result is more and better food for the families as a new world of home gardening opens up to the villagers — and now they can save the cost of traveling to market. 
“Some local families also will benefit from our sharing a few of our resources when the money comes back to Marshall County,” said Snider. “Church World Service has upgraded funding and Marshall County food banks have received that yearly.”
To learn more about Church World Service or the CROP Hunger Walk visit