One year ago Super Storm Sandy hit the east coast. To say it has been a challenging year is to put it mildly. Individuals, community, government and faith groups have all chipped in to help in the recovery and rebuilding process after so much destruction and displacement of people. We've all donated time & money to make the recovery and rebuilding efforts possible for our local communities.
Our coordinating committee knew from the start that all of this would have an impact on the funds raised for this year's 33rd Walk but they didn't let it deter them from their efforts to raise funds needed to provide "long term support" for our local and global partners. Our past CROP Walks have made possible the Church World Service disaster response to Super Storm Sandy. Over $1.3 million dollars has been focused on this region, so we thank everyone for their loyal and steadfast support over the past three decades that we have been walking. CROP Walks make it possible for CWS to continue responding to hunger, disasters, and displacement of people.
20 dedicated members of our Red Bank CROP Coordinating Committee gathered one month after the Oct. 20th walk to enjoy dessert and to evaluate the "Walk Day Results". Some excellent stats came out. This year another record amount of 14,000 lbs of food was distributed to 25 local pantries with lots of volunteer help from Rumson County Day School and Christian Brothers Academy. The huge inter-generational crowd included, churches, schools,and civic groups. Some new friends: Trinity Hall, the Cornell Club, Community Church of Keyport, the Faith Reformed Church in Hazlet, the Korean Presbyterian Church and MAX Fitness joined in the effort to feed hungry neighbors. The runners and walkers were piped out on the start of the walk by a talented CBA Bagpipe Band in colorful kilts. It was a beautiful day with brilliant colors, tributes to friends and memorials, with superb art from many young artists, depicting "A Place at the Table for Everyone".
Donations continue to come in as recruiters check with donors. We are currently over $101,000 in funds showing continued belief in the work we can accomplish through CROP Hunger Walks. Our Red Bank CROP Walk has raised over $100,000 annually the past 14 years since we ushered in the new millennium. The new century has presented us with challenges to provide help for hungry neighbors, but it also has shown us that no matter how difficult things may seem we rise to the challenges before us to help our neighbors whoever they are and wherever they live. We walk to provide food for the hungry and to give them the tools they need to provide for a better future for their families.
As you gather with your family and friends this Thanksgiving we thank you for helping to make a place at the table for everyone.