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  • Echo Staff

Annual CROP Hunger Walk Plans for 40th year


Greek members help decorate and supervise the Bennett Park CROP Walk location.

The generosity of Olivet College to the annual Charlotte Area CROP (Christian Rural Overseas Program) Hunger Walk has spanned more than a dozen years.

About $17,800 was raised by the October 2022 walk, supporting three local charities as well as hunger and other relief efforts worldwide, through Church World Services (CWS). The local charities are SIREN/Eaton Shelter, Helping Hands Food Pantry and St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, all in Charlotte.

The support for this annual effort comes from churches, community organizations, citizens and local businesses. For more than a half-dozen years, Olivet’s 11 Greek societies have been bringing energy, commitment and person-power to the event.

They arrived at Bennett Park in Charlotte, home of the walk, in a red college van and personal vehicles, dozens strong. In 2022, more than 45 attended and helped organize and clean up the event site, make popcorn, welcome walkers and cheer them on. Another vital service is supervising the walkers in the van, ready to assist them if the need arises.

Olivet College sophomore Landen Cooley, secretary of the Greek society Kappa Sigma Alpha, drove the van at the 2022 CROP Walk event. “It was fun,” he said. “I got to see people on the walk, and see people meeting others. And, it was for a good cause.”

Professor Arthur Williams helps coordinate the Greek efforts and participates in the walk. “The students are so helpful, and the walkers really get a glimpse of what service can mean,” he said.

This will be the 40th annual walk, taking place the first Sunday in October. This is an engaging, local opportunity to help our neighbors, near and far, suffering from lack of food, healthy living situations, or experiencing disasters, such as recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

“We have such great support from local people and from the state and national CWS staff, as well as friends and organizers from other walks. It is gratifying, impactful work,” said co-coordinator Barb Myckowiak, of Charlotte, who has led the walk now for 16 years, with help from co-coordinator Joanne Williams of Olivet for the past 10 years, and, most recently, support from committee members Sally Seifert, Doug Buck and Dian Leckrone.

A 2023 planning meeting is being held Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 830 N. Cochran Avenue. Volunteers are always welcome to join the planning efforts. For information, contact CharlotteCROP@gmail.org, or visit the crophungerwalk.org/charlotte mi page online.


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