Every year, I am impressed with the Nashua Interfaith CROP Hunger Walk in New Hampshire for their commitment to raising awareness as well as funds to fight hunger locally and globally.
This year at Nashua’s 30th anniversary Walk, the group took the lead of Deirdra Schmidt, long-time education coordinator for the Walk, to create a bingo game based on 30 ways to give from the CWS Best Gift catalogue. They selected 30 ways that CROP Hunger Walks help people here at home and around the world, and made up a giant board with photos and text. They also made up a bingo sheet with thirty spaces to be filled in with stickers.
They then assigned 30 volunteers at the Walk to give out stickers and talk about one way that CROP Hunger Walks help end hunger. The volunteers wore feet with question marks on them around their necks. When walkers with a bingo sheet approached the volunteers, the walkers would ask, “Whaddayaknow?” The volunteers would them tell them about one way to give, and give them a sticker for their bingo sheets.
I wore a question mark around my neck. When walkers asked me, “Whaddayaknow?” I told them that CROP Hunger Walks help provide emergency food packages using sources as close as possible to those in need and quickly offers nutritious food for a family of five for one month.. I then gave out stickers for the bingo sheets.
At the end of the Walk, the walker with the most filled in sheet won a fair trade chocolate bar. All participating bingo players won a mini-fair trade chocolate.
Children were by far the most enthusiastic players in the game. Although some of them were shy when they approached me, I would give them a little nudge, saying, “Do you want to know what I know?” They would then eagerly nod, and happily receive a sticker for their sheets.
Although I’m not sure if anyone completely filled up their sheet, I am sure that everyone who participated came away knowing a lot more about why we walk. One teacher who participated as a volunteer, told Deirdra, “You have to do this again next year!”
Knowing Deirdra, she will do this and more to make sure that people who walk in Nashua know why they’re walking, and how they are helping. That’s what they know!
Amy Porter is an Associate Field Director in CWS’s New England office.