A walk to fight poverty

MARSHALL – About 60 people took long walks on Sunday afternoon to raise money to combat hunger – here and around the world.

“Part of the reason we walk is because they do,” said the Rev. Steve Rasmusson from Ivanhoe.

Rasmusson was referring to many people in the Third World who walk miles every day to fetch basic necessities of life such as food, water and firewood.

CROP stands for Congregations Responding to Overcome Poverty.

“It’s a good way for congregations to work together to raise funds to end world hunger,” said the Rev. Matt Peterson of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marshall.

Each walker who registered was given a donation packet and solicited pledges from friends and neighbors. Of the money raised, 75 percent goes to Church World Services, which sponsors walks nationwide and internationally, to be distributed to hunger relief organizations.

But 25 percent stays in the community to support the Western Community Action food shelf.

“The food shelf serves 600 families locally,” said Lori Lerohl, food shelf volunteer coordinator. “In the last six months, we’ve added 250 families.”

Walkers gathered at St. Stephen to register and for a brief meeting with skits, songs and prayer before setting out on their choice of routes.

Southwest Minnesota State University freshmen Riley Fischer, Cholena Krolich and Hannah Dressen heard about the walk though the university.

“We heard it about it and thought, ‘That sounds like a good cause.'” Fischer said.

Krolich read through the maps and pointed out the routes.

“There’s a one mile, 5K and 10K,” Krolich said.

The three friends considered the options.

“We’re kind of crunched for time,” Dressen said. “I think the 5K would be nice, let’s do the 5K.”

And it was a beautiful day for a walk in good company, for a good cause.