For the last six years, husband and wife duo Bud and Jeanne Hawkins have been coordinating the East Lincoln area’s local initiative to fight worldwide hunger.
The CROP Hunger Walk is an annual tradition among communities nationwide in which participants typically raise money by trekking multiple miles through their community to experience on a much smaller scale the difficult journey that many people beyond America’s borders must take to procure food and other necessities.
“Many people have to walk two to 10 miles a day just to get their water,” Bud said, “so we walk to get that same feeling our brothers and sister around the world have to do.”
He and Jeanne have participated in CROP walks all across the country in the various states they’ve lived over the years and felt their life in Denver should be no different when they moved to Lincoln County.
“We’ve always walked,” Bud said.
He expects a couple hundred people, including members from a number of area churches, to attend the event “to help…alleviate hunger, sickness and disease” and draw in close to last year’s total funds, between $8,000 and $9,000. In addition, Bud praised the support the walk gets each year from the Interact Clubs at both North and East Lincoln High School.
“Those kids really come out and support us,” he said. “I don’t care if they don’t raise any money; I just want them to get the experience.”
The coordinators even shortened the sometimes more than five-mile walk to just under three miles in order to draw a larger and more diverse crowd in terms of ages.
The walk not only raises money for hungry populations worldwide but also needy individuals who live locally. Church World Service, the event’s chief sponsor, donates 25 percent of all proceeds to local organizations, which for Lincoln County, is East Lincoln Christian Ministry, an organization in need.
“It’s been a very busy year,” Bud said. “More people are out of work, and the economy is very slow and has generated a larger need.”
The walk will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Rock Springs Campground in Denver. Registration will start at 1:30 p.m. For more information or to help with the event, contact Bud or Jeanne Hawkins at (704) 483-1684, (704) 663-9004 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations will still be accepted after the walk by emailing Bud, who will even make arrangements to pickup payments, or by visiting churchworldservice.org/CROP.