Iowa weather in early October ranges from sunny and colorful--as, in fact, it is this afternoon as I write this--to miserable. For a long time CROP Walkers were blessed with nice weather, but these last few years it's been rainy more often than not. This year it was cloudy, and rained both before and after we walked, but during the walk itself it was mostly dry.
Why walk instead of just contributing money? I can think of three reasons why it's worth taking the extra steps to have this event.
First, for the donors, it provides an annual focus around which to give. Sure, one can donate money any time, but any time can be no time. Requests for charitable contributions come in pretty constantly, and ignoring them becomes a survival skill. Having one annual event around which to predict and schedule donations keeps time from slipping away. The need itself is hardly trivial--the Linn Community Food Bank served 30 percent more households in 2013 than it had the previous year, on top of a 33 percent increase in 2012 over 2011. Anything that draws attention to the ongoing problem of world hunger, including its Linn County chapter, is a good thing.
Second, for the walkers, it's a festive social occasion.
|Departing from the park shelter after Dorothy Higdon gave the blessing|
My church was represented by a pastor, several adult members of the congregation, and more than a dozen middle and high school youth.
|Some of the Lovely Lane contingent prepare for the CROP Walk|
We mingled along the trail with as many or more people from other churches. (In the past, there have also been walkers from Temple Judah, the Hindu temple, the carpenters' union and Coe College. I don't know about this year.) We greet friends and take pleasure in those who go all out, like First Lutheran Church with their matching purple jackets, and these costumed vegetables.
|This year's CROP Walk featured walking crops|
|Along the trail, an opening in the woods|
(revealing an under-construction subdivision, but as the Vogons say...)
|Along the trail, a choice of paths|
|Water break at Boyson Road turn-around|
|Along the trail, a view of a mysterious other trail|
|Almost there... crossing the bridge over Dry Creek|