The Weather Channel gets quite a bit of screen time at my home in the fall months. I am an admitted weather geek. The viewing was tragic earlier this month brought another devastating hurricane to the Caribbean and the U.S. Southeast. The reason I bring up Dorian is because of another of my autumn-time focuses — the BI/NK CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by and benefitting Church World Service.
While our CROP annual marketing campaign generally focuses on the worldwide assistance provided to help eradicate world hunger, eliminate unhealthy sanitation situations, and to provide vital funding to our own Helpline House, the CWS involvement in world crises is many faceted.
When hurricanes hit, we are urged to help out with emergency donations to the Red Cross and myriad other aid organizations. We respond with open hearts and open wallets. That’s wonderful, and it warms my heart and reinvigorates my confidence in deeply rooted human compassion. What excites me about donating to the CROP Hunger Walk is how CWS uses the funds to prepare for worldwide disasters. You might say CWS put the “pre” in prepare. When Dorian hit, CWS already had emergency kits ready to distribute in the storm-ravaged regions. These kits were funded by CROP Hunger Walks held year-round across the nation.
So — that’s a great reason to participate in the BI/NK CROP Hunger Walk — scheduled for 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22, starting at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church.
But if your focus is closer to home, to helping those who need assistance right in our own community — know that 20 percent of the funds raised by the CROP Hunger Walk goes directly to Helpline House of Bainbridge. Also, five percent of the funds are given to Fishline of Poulsbo. These are amazing and vital local organizations which represent a whole lot of good in our community.
Bainbridge Island has hosted a CROP Hunger Walk for the last 24 years. In that timeframe, we’ve raised close to $900,000. That’s amazing. No matter the ups and downs of the stock market and economic downturns, our community recognizes the need to help those in need.
While you may have never, personally, needed the goods or services provided by Helpline House, we all benefit from its very existence. From what started as a closet food bank at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, grew into Bainbridge’s Fishline, and then, into Helpline House – the organization has expanded and weaved its assisting threads into our community.
I urge each and every one of you to find a way to join our efforts this fall. If you can’t make the walk this year — go to https://www.crophungerwalk.org/bainbridgeislandwa/Donate and give to the event. Something to remember that is unique about the Bainbridge/NK CROP Hunger Walk, there is an anonymous donor who has offered to match every dollar raised.
If donating just doesn’t work into your budget this year, stop by in Winslow on Sept. 22 and just say “thank you” to the walkers. Or, stop by Helpline House to say “thank you” … and maybe drop off some items for the food bank.
David Beemer is a member of the BI/NK CROP Hunger Walk organizing committee and is a lifelong resident of Bainbridge Island – minus a couple of excursions to Alaska and Utah.