“I don’t think we’re going to come in last this year!” my daughter marveled as we turned onto Main Street after taking our “shortcut.”
We were participating the 38th Annual Addison County CROP Hunger Walk. The CROP Walk, which is always held on the first Sunday in October, involves a 2.5 mile stroll around Middlebury: Walkers from various local congregations raise funds for their participation, of which 25% goes to support Addison County food shelves, and the remaining 75% goes to Church World Service to combat hunger and provide disaster assistance around the world. (The 2014 Addison County CROP Walk raised over $26,800, placing it near the top of all New England CROP Walks.)
It’s a good cause, and a nice community event. My husband and I were initially drawn to the CROP Walk – in which our own congregation participates – because it seemed accessible for young families. We want to involve our children in activities that support the less fortunate in our community and throughout the world, but many service opportunities seem impossible with multiple young children; we’d end up spending more time trying to control our offspring than doing anything helpful.
But a 2.5-mile walk through the glorious gold, orange and red of a Middlebury October? That we could do!
At least, that’s what we thought when we embarked upon our first CROP Walk, five years ago.