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“Are you sure you can walk six miles,” my father asked looking at me with an incredulous expression. I was 13-years-old and had asked to be able to participate in the Midland, Michigan, CROP Hunger Walk.

At that time, the route was 6.2 miles so my father had good reason to doubt me. Nevertheless, I insisted and faithfully went around to everyone we knew and asked them to sponsor me, and I was very excited because I had raised enough money to get a free T-shirt.

Then the day had finally arrived. I was very excited we were walking with a friend of ours and I looked forward to funny jokes and stories along the way. Let me just say - 6 miles is a lot further than it sounds. However, I was determined to prove that I was not a wimp and could handle the long route.

I made it to the end without complaining too much and drinking a lot of water. I felt such a sense of accomplishment, and I certainly surprised my parents.

The route passed through a garden and neighborhoods full of houses with beautiful architecture. We even saw a couple of houses designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. My dad and I did not often have this amount of time together and it was special to do this event together. We had a great time even if we both ended up with sore feet and leg muscles the next day.

While the Beatrice area CROP Hunger Walk is much shorter than the Midland walk my father and I took that day, we will wind our way through Beatrice neighborhoods from Holy Cross Lutheran on the east side to downtown, completing our steps at the Salvation Army. It is a time to make memories and to help end hunger - one step at a time.

This year, our community will join with about 1,000 other communities nationwide in interfaith CROP Hunger Walks around the theme "Ending hunger one step at a time." From combating droughts in Nicaragua to providing agricultural training in Indonesia to stocking shelves in hundreds of food pantries across the U.S., CROP Hunger Walks are fighting hunger.

Mark your calendars. Join us on Sunday, Oct. 14 to walk for a purpose. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran, 1918 Garfield St., with the walk beginning at 1 p.m. The goal is to raise $10,000 to help end hunger and poverty here in the local community by supporting local food pantries, as well as around the world.

Walk on your own or start a team. You can pick up a CROP Hunger Walk envelope at either the Salvation Army or Holy Cross. Or you can register yourself or start a team online at

Do you believe we can end hunger around the world? We do! One step at a time! The Beatrice Area CROP Hunger Walk is sponsored by the Beatrice Ministerial Association.

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Lt. Rachel Irvine is with the Salvation Army in Beatrice.


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