I've always thought that a CROP Walk was a walk of gratitude for all that we have. We live in a world of many aches and pains and much joy. By reaching out to others using our HEARTS and SOLES in a CROP Walk we can bring help and hope to neighbors and to strangers who are hurting.
Janie Schildge - Walk Coordinator
The F-5 tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, was the worst of the 68 twisters that hit the U.S. on May 23, 2011; it killed at least 142 people and injured some 900 more.
The tornado destroyed a third of the town, including Murle and Edna Lassman’s home and their church, Peace Lutheran. Still, they are grateful. “No loss of life in our family. No serious injuries,” says Murle.
“People will be affected by the tornado for many years to come,” Edna says, “but I’m seeing a lot of good things happening. There have just been people from all over the United States willing to help.”
Remarkably, there is still help coming from Joplin, as well. “Two weeks after the tornado, our church held a pie and ice cream social for a local literacy organization,” says Edna. “If we can do that, we can certainly do the CROP Hunger Walk in the fall,” she adds, referring to the CWS events that take place across the country to help eliminate hunger.
To that end, CWS partners with local and international organizations to build food security for vulnerable communities, helping them develop sustainable access to adequate food and nutrition. The CROP Hunger Walks help a wide range of programs – from local U.S. food pantries to emergency relief for tsunami survivors. From seed banks in Kenya to farming cooperatives in Haiti.
It has been “a very disastrous spring in Missouri,” says Kari Davidson, Associate Director of the CWS Great Plains region.
But in Joplin, though wreckage from the epic twister still lines the streets, Davidson sees people looking beyond their own needs. Of their dedication to the CROP Hunger Walk, she says, "They just have a very strong belief in the alleviation of hunger.”