An end of winter gathering to thank our "Top Sponsors" and to honor our graduating teen leaders was held last week at the home of Janie Schildge our dedicated CROP Walk coordinator. She and her husband, George, invited a mix of guests which included some of our "Top Sponsors", coordinating committee members, and several of our teen leaders. What began with some good eating quickly turned into an evening of sharing the stories of the success of our 35th Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk in 2015 which raised $116,000 to help feed hungry neighbors here in NJ and in communities around the world.
Teresa Cintron, our Church World Service Community Engagement Specialist gave a presentation on the world wide refugee crisis and how we can help through Church World Service to welcome and resettle these families right here in New Jersey. CWS opened a new office in Jersey City to welcome these 30 families and to provide assistance towards beginning their new lives in the United States. When you hear things like "Send them back home" Teresa showed a video that explains why they can't go back home. Due to extreme violence and conflict for many there is no home to return to. video Drone footage of "Home" 1.45 mins. and this video on PBS shows Gwen Ifill interviewing a refugee family about their experience. It can take 4 years or longer before a family is able to come to the US. In the video, you can hear Mahmoud Mahmoud the director of the New Jersey office talk about the kind of assistance CWS provides to these families. Families receive welcome packs, phones, school supplies, seasonal clothing and gift cards. You can contact Teresa Cintron if you would like additional information (firstname.lastname@example.org) Refugee video
During the evening, we recognized 4 of our 10 graduating teen leaders and thanked them for all the work they did to contribute to our efforts to feed the hungry. They shared their good memories of working with CROP which included learning about hunger, how CWS helps and the important part they have in planning, advocating in their schools, fundraising and walking! It was our teens that came up with the idea of "HIGH FIVE for 35 Years!" They encouraged their peers to donate 3 items of food and $5. Every donation makes a difference!
We welcomed to our CROP Coordinating Committee, Vicky Smith and Joe Lotito, who will be trained by the Eileen Betz and Sheila Alfano before they retire. Vicky and Joe will team up with Joan and Don Foote and the Christian Brothers students and staff to ensure the continued success of our Food Collection. Vicky is the daughter of our materials coordinator, Kim Smith. Thanks Kim for growing our CROP Family!
We thank all of you that helped to make this year's walk another success, bringing hope to those who feel lost and left behind in the world. We walk this year on World Food Day, Sunday October 16th.